A goldfish weighing nine pounds came under the spotlight Monday after being discovered during a fish population survey at a lake in South Carolina, park officials said.
Ty Houck, an official with Greenville County Parks, said the “massive” fish was found swimming on Nov. 16 in a 12-acre body of water in Oak Grove Lake Park in the county of Greenville.
Greenville Rec, which oversees the park where the fish was discovered, posted a photo of the golden spectacle on Facebook on Monday.
“Anyone missing their goldfish? This 9lb goldfish was found in Oak Grove Lake during some recent testing at our lakes,” the organization wrote in a post. “The work included electrofishing, a method of measuring the health of the fish population.”
Wildlife officials were conducting a fish population survey analogous to a “fish sticking its finger, or fin, in a socket,” Houck said. “A weak electrical current is run through the water and stuns them for a few minutes.”
Houck said he believes the giant goldfish is the only one swimming in the lake because park officials did not encounter any others in their survey.
He added that while the goldfish is non-native to South Carolina, it was not considered an invasive species to the lake.
The average lifespan of goldfish is between six to seven years, while those found in the wild can live up to 30 years, according to the United States Geological Survey.
According to the agency, goldfish can grow upwards of six pounds — far below the weight of the nine pound pond fish found in South Carolina.
As for the goldfish's current whereabouts, Houck said he placed the fish back in the water after snapping a photo of the large creature.
“At the advice of professionals we decided to leave the bachelor, or bachelorette, back where we found it,” Houck said. “Obviously, they’re really happy here.”