News short: Unusual fish hooked at the Boilers; STGnews Videocast

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.

Mark Magnera holds the pacu fish he hooked at the Warm Springs, also known as “the Boilers,” Washington City, Utah, June 13, 2015 | Photo courtesy Mark Magnera, St. George News

“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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  • Sunny1 June 23, 2015 at 7:58 pm

    Oh man, this is one of my worst fears! Every time I swim at Gunlock Reservior or Quail Creek I wonder what some dingbat released into the water. Who knows what could have floated into the reserviors from upstream? I fear crocodiles, big aggressive fish. Pacu with human teeth who like to bite? No thanks, I think I will skip “The Boilers”!!!!!

  • fun bag June 23, 2015 at 7:58 pm

    fish looks dead

  • Sunny1 June 23, 2015 at 7:59 pm

    Also LOL at the suggestion of just giving your unwanted fish a ride down the porcelain subway.

  • NotSoFast June 23, 2015 at 9:26 pm

    Hum, you think the BLM will grab the Boilers as a protected habitat area after seeing this? Maybe they will also grab Washington City and put Bundy’s cows out in the Fields.

    • Real Life June 24, 2015 at 12:55 am

      The Bundy’s are bottom feeders WAY below this fish with teeth.

  • fun bag June 24, 2015 at 6:18 am

    need to drain this swamp and put in a fracking operation or open top mine

  • JOSH DALTON June 24, 2015 at 8:04 am

    Funny…I owned 2 of the same fish. My Pacu grew to be twice the size of this little guy. I think the story would have been better if he was wading in the pond, and the Pacu did what it does best. The Pacu is known as the “ball cutter” in South America. Both of my Pacu have died. I have retired from ever raising that fish again. They just eat to much and grow way to fast.

  • Mean Momma June 24, 2015 at 4:47 pm

    Watching HLN News this morning there was a segment on one of these fish caught in a lake in New Jersey. Why didn’t this story make it to HLN?

    • JOSH DALTON June 24, 2015 at 5:34 pm

      You know I was wondering the same thing. Who picks what is trending and the real question is why is 90% of it is filtered before it gets to Utah. HLN is filmed back home in Georgia. The only time our town makes the new is if it has to do with Colorado City or cattle ranchers trying to squat on government land. We should be on National news just based on the fact this town is called Dixie people fly the Confederate Flag out here and Utah had nothing to do with the Confederates, solely because cotton grew here and its the southern part of Utah. Come Utah nor Saint George are part of the 13 colonies, we are nowhere near the Mason Dixon line. The meat of my comment is on another subject not the fish. It does bring up a good point though. I have nothing against the Confederate flag. I have one on my belt buckle (I am a black male) and a full sized one in the house. I am from one of the 13 colonies so I can represent all day long. Robin Mead has not come out here to interview me…or anybody else out here on the flag topic. Now if the Pacu bit his manhood clean off than we would have made the national news!

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