A rare catch of a red-breasted piranha in a community lake near Houston recently illustrates the need for prohibition of invasive aquatic species in Texas waters.
According to Texas Parks and Wildlife Department officials an actual piranha is a VERY rare occurrence in the wild—only 2 documented specimens in 30 years—and possessing and releasing live piranhas and dozens of other exotic, harmful or potentially harmful fish species is prohibited by Texas law.
Dave Terre, management and research chief with TPWD’s Inland Fisheries Division, said the 23-acre
in Pearland on the outskirts of Houston where the piranha was caught on Aug. 27 remains a great place to go fishing and is completely safe to go fishing there.
“We strongly believe that this is an isolated catch,” said Terre. “Our biologists will do an electrofishing survey of the lake to confirm this.”
Biologists say piranhas are unlikely to be able to survive over winter and they will not reproduce.
Terre said it is possible someone held this specimen in captivity illegally and disposed of the fish in the lake.