Fisherman Catches Testicle-Eating Fish In Illinois Lake

By Chuck Sudo in News on Jul 9, 2012 1:40PM

Photo Credit: Omnitarian (Creative Commons Share-Alike 3.0 License)

Residents in Litchfield, Ill. are breathing easier after reports of piranha in their lake turned out to be another fish with teeth. The pacu is native to the Amazon river basin, can grow to be three-feet long, weigh 50 pounds, has powerful jaws and teeth similar to a human, and feasts on a diet of nuts, snails and aquatic vegetation.

But the pacu have been known to also attack testicles, although such attacks are uncommon. In 2011 two fishermen in Papua New Guinea died from blood loss after they had their testicles crushed by pacu.

The pacu in Litchfield's Lake Lou Yeager was hooked by a fisherman June 7. Lake Superintendent Jim Caldwell sent the fish to the Illinois Department of Natural Resources for testing, where it was determined the fish was a pacu. Biologists say the pacu cannot survive an Illinois winter. Caldwell believes someone had the pacu as a pet and released it into the lake.