WASHINGTON CITY – A St. George resident wasn’t expecting to catch anything out of the ordinary earlier this month when he went fishing at the Washington City Warm Springs, also known as the Boilers, but he ended up reeling in a large, black fish with human-like teeth.
“I was thrilled,” Mark Magnera said. “My kids were scared to touch it.”
Magnera said he first spotted the rather large fish on his first visit to the location, thinking it might have been an Asian carp. He returned the next day with snacks to tempt the fish onto his hook – and succeeded.
After a short battle, Magnera said, he pulled his catch onto land, realizing then that it was no ordinary fish.
“I could tell right away it wasn’t what I thought it was,” Magnera said. “I could see the molars in there, the teeth.”
Initially worried that he had hooked an endangered fish, Magnera quickly released the fish back into the spring-fed pond and notified the Division of Wildlife Resources.
After contacting the DWR, Magnera said, he learned he had hooked a pacu – a species related to the piranha. Pacu, unlike piranha, have straight-edged, humanlike teeth and can grow very large in size.
“It’s the weirdest, biggest fish I’ve caught,” Magnera said.
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