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Canal fish mystery solved

Valley Biologist now says fish is a pacu not a Piranha

Suprise catch while fishing in East Valley

THERMAL, Calif. - A local biologist now says that a sharped toothed fish that a young valley fisherman reeled in this weekend at an East Valley canal is a Pacu not its dangerous cousin the flesh eating Piranha.

According to Jack Crayon, Associate Biologist from the Department of Fish and Game, the pacu is not a carnivore, but eats fruits, seeds and nuts.

The detection of a piranha population in California's waters would be a serious threat to our native fish and our sport fisheries- one which my Department would respond to immediately.

Fishing with his dad and neighbor, 15-year-old Gerardo Godinez reeled in the catch of the day Sunday afternoon. But this one he says, has teeth as sharp as knives.

"When I saw it, I was shocked," said Gerardo.

"I was far away from it. I didn't want to be near it. It's kind of scary," said his sister Jasmin Godinez.

The Godinez family would like to keep the fish as a pet. Owning a piranha is illegal in the state of California without a permit.  But now that Fish and Game says it is a pacu , we will have to wait and see if the family will get to keep the sharp toothed fish.

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