A whole new monster mystery for River Ness

Fish believed to be 'aggressive and territorial' species from Africa or Central America.

A whole new monster mystery for River Ness

Something a bit fishy’s been going on in the River Ness…

Usually home to plentiful supplies of native salmon, two mysterious and dangerous visitors somehow made their way into the water.

One of them was still alive when they were plucked to dry shores by Inverness Angling Club on Monday night.

It’s thought the fish – believed to be “aggressive and territorial” cichlids – were native to Africa and Central America and may have been dumped in the river as unwanted pets.

Ness District Salmon Fishery Board said they could have had a “devastating impact” on salmon supplies.

Posting an appeal on Facebook, the fishery board said: “Our first thoughts from the description given on the telephone were that they might be perch, common across much of the UK but not native to the Ness system.

“On collection were amazed to find what appear to be two ‘cichlid’ fish, more common in areas such as Lake Tanganyika in Africa.

“These fish are common in the aquarium trade as pets and it is likely that someone has decided to release them into the wild.

“If so, this is highly irresponsible and anyone looking to release unwanted pet fish into local rivers and lochs are urged to find alternatives as this can have a devastating impact on native species and ecosystems.

“If anyone can positively identify the species we would be interested to know.”

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