Meridian Man Says He Caught Piranha in Local Pond

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No, it's not April 1, but we can excuse officials at the Idaho Department of Fish and Game for thinking so.

They got a call this morning (Monday, July 12) from a Meridian man who said he caught a piranha in the Settler's Park pond. Kenny Espen says he threw his line in the water about 9 a.m. (he was using worms) and he got a serious tug on the line. When he pulled it in, he said the mouth had an inordinate amount of razor-sharp teeth.

He forwarded this picture to Citydesk and Fish and Game.

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  • Picture Courtesy Kenny Espen

Fish and Game spokesman Ed Mitchell tells Citydesk the chance of it being a piranha is not out of the question.

"Quite often folks don't want to kill their exotic pets and they dump them in a local body of water," Mitchell said. "But there's an excellent chance it won't reproduce nor survive."

Evin Oneale, Regional Conservation Educator for Fish and Game said,"This is one reason why the release of fish into any waters by the public without a permit is prohibited. Should this fish be determined to be a piranha, there is potential (though very slight; most piranha hype is just that-hype) for someone to get hurt."

As for now, Espen said the fish is in his refrigerator.

"I may eat it," he said. "I hear it's good eatin'."

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