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See Carrot, the 67-pound goldfish caught in France

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A fisherman has caught a goldfish weighing nearly 70 pounds — a carp with such a big belly that some on social media have called her “a monster,” while others likened her to “a big lump of gold” or a flame-colored beauty.

“Carrot,” as the goldfish is affectionately known, was reeled in earlier this month by British fisherman Andy Hackett off Bluewater Lakes in Champagne, France and became somewhat of a celebrity Tuesday when broadcasters in the UK went for the story hook, line and sinker.

Carrot is a hybrid species of a leather carp and a koi carp, and has been described by British newspapers as one of the largest goldfish in the world, as photos of Hackett holding up his prize with both hands made headlines in the UK. Mail and the BBC began referencing the 1975 shark thriller “Jaws”, with the Daily Mail headline screaming “We need a bigger fishbowl!”

Climate change may play a role in reports of larger-than-normal fish in unexpected areas. (Video: John Farrell, Brian Monroe/The Washington Post)

People have been dumping their pets in lakes, officials say. Now football-sized goldfish are taking over.

“I always knew The Carrot was in it, but never thought I’d catch it,” Hackett told British media. “‘I knew it was a big fish when it took my bait and swung it side to side and up and down.”

After Hackett posed for photos with his catch, she was released back into the water – much to the delight of those who read about her on social media.

Like all types of carp, the domesticated goldfish, also known as Carassius auratus, can balloon to epic dimensions and grow as large as its habitat and resources allow.

Carrot, who last weighed 67.4 pounds, was placed in Bluewater Lakes, the French fishery, more than a decade ago and has been described as “very elusive” by Jason Cowler, a fisheries manager there. She’s been caught a number of times before, but only topped 60 pounds earlier this year, the fishery wrote.

Even before her recent fame, Wortel was somewhat of a celebrity in the fishing world. Anglers come from all over the world to the fish farm, hoping to catch her or one of the other giant species found in the lakes. According to the owners, the location is currently fully booked.

“Every carp angler who knows Bluewater knows The Carrot!” Keen fisherman and fellow Briton Ian Allan, 49, told The Washington Post on Tuesday, adding that the goldfish was one he “would love to catch”. Allan said it’s notoriously difficult to get reservations at the venue, which has a strict catch and release policy and is home to fish up to 90 pounds.

“The fish are very carefully cared for when caught because of their sheer size,” he said.

The Bluewater Lakes team have also emphasized on their official Facebook page that “great care is taken in catching all our carp”, adding that fish are treated for any injuries and are never completely removed from the water. All photos were taken on a floating mat in case the catches decide to flip, they said.

The fishery said Carrot is “in excellent health and condition” and is about 20 years old, and predicted that Carrot could live (and grow) another 15 years. “May her fame last long,” it added.

While giant goldfish often spark interest and admiration, they can also be a nuisance, experts say.

The Washington Post reported last summer that pet goldfish released into lakes could grow rapidly in their new habitats, swell to the size of footballs and wreak havoc.

The species made an impact in the United States last year, when officials in Burnsville, a city about 15 miles south of Minneapolis, pleaded with locals not to dump unwanted pets into local lakes, which they say caused a plague that worsened water quality. . .

The fish were blamed for stirring up sediments, uprooting plants and exposing the wild fish population to new diseases.

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