Toddler reels in piranha cousin from Northwest lake - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Toddler reels in piranha cousin from Northwest lake

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Trevin Patterson reeled in the fish within minutes of dropping a line in Horseshoe Lake Trevin Patterson reeled in the fish within minutes of dropping a line in Horseshoe Lake
The mystery fish is believed to be a Pacu, cousin to the Piranha The mystery fish is believed to be a Pacu, cousin to the Piranha

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(Click to see enlarged pictures)

DEER PARK, Wash. - Fisherman are known for their tall tales, but a toddler in Eastern Washington might take bragging rights after catching a non-native fish that is related to the piranha.

Trevin Patterson went fishing with his family at Horseshoe Lake Thursday night. Minutes later, he'd hooked his first ever catch, a three pound mystery believed to be a Pacu.

"His very first fish and it was almost as big as he was," said Trevin's dad, James. "When we reeled that one in I was dumbfounded."

Pacu are not native to the Northwest. They are usually found in South America or aquariums.

Pacu are known as cousins to Piranhas. While Piranhas eat meat, Pacu use their teeth to smash grain and tear plants as part of their herbivore diet.

The fish Trevin caught has several rows of teeth and tried to bite those fishing in the area Thursday, according to James.

James says he was told by the Department of Fish and Wildlife that the Pacu was probably dumped into the lake by a pet owner who thought the fish was too big to care for.

Authorities from the Department of Fish and Wildlife did not immediately return calls on this story.

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