Catch Of The Day Piranha

Tuesday, September 27, 2011 - 1:53pm

Texas 5-year-old reels in toothy surprise on her first fishing trip.

A fish caught by 5-year-old girl at a suburban Houston, Texas lake last month has been identified as a red-bellied piranha.

It was the first fish Lindsay Schutte had ever caught.

"We came from California where you only catch trout," said Christi Schutte, Lindsay's mother. "When I took the hook out of the mouth and saw it had pretty big teeth, I was concerned. But I'm in Texas, so I don't know, there could be fish like that."

The fish bit Lindsay's brother when he tried to play with it.

The family turned the fish over to authorities.

The species identification then was confirmed.

Parks officials said the notoriously aggressive meat-eating piranha, about the size of a perch and native to the Amazon basin, likely was dumped in the lake by an aquarium owner who either got tired of it or the fish outgrew its aquarium home.

Officials said that even if there was another fish in the lake, they wouldn't survive because the cooler winters.

Texas law bars sale and possession of live piranhas and other dangerous or potentially dangerous fish. Many other states, however, don't prohibit them and federal law bars importation of only a few fish species, and piranha isn't among them.

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