Wednesday, November 18, 2009

That Bites

When they say the fish are biting in West Palm Beach, they aren’t kidding.

A boy fishing last month in a pond near his condo complex, at Arabian Road and Lake Arbor Drive, pulled from the water not the bass or catfish he was used to but a writhing, red-bellied piranha.

Ten days later, officials with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission combed the same pond and discovered a second piranha lurking beneath the surface. Investigators said the toothy fish probably were kept as pets, a crime punishable by a $1,000 fine in Florida, before their owners turned them loose.

In response, wildlife officers this morning were plying the roughly four-acre pond with rotenone fish poison, an “extreme measure” meant to kill off any piranha still hiding out there, said wildlife commission spokeswoman Gabriella Ferraro.

As a side effect, the effort also will kill every other fish living in the pond.

You bring the lemons, I’ll get the tartar sauce.