Man catches piranha in Codorus State Park

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It’s another day of fishing for Mike Donaldson, at Lake Marburg.  But Donaldson recalls a time in September 2010, when the line caught something with a native bite.

“One time the line took off, I hooked something, it jumped out of the water, I knew it wasn’t what we were fishing for,” says Donaldson.

He caught a piranha…

“I couldn’t sleep that night, I sat up all night, missed work the next day,” says Donaldson.

Reeling in a piranha may add excitement to any fisherman’s day, but the reality is, piranhas are invasive species and they’re not allowed in the waters.

Stan Senft is a fish salesman at Gettys Pet Shop, in York.  He says, “Once they get into a lake they can eat a lot of fish.  Even if someone is swimming they may take a nip out of them, just a hungry killer fish.”

Donaldson says, “We took it to a local tackle shop…they said they don’t belong in those waters and they wanted it destroyed.  They threw it in the woods.”

The three pound piranha doesn’t belong.  Yet it remains one of Mike’s fondest moments at the lake.

“It’s one of the smallest fish I caught, but it’s kind of the biggest…he didn’t put up too much of a fight!”

According to the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission, if you are caught releasing a piranha into a lake, you would face a $100 fine.


  • SunnyNC

    A Pacu is not the same as a Piranha…different species. A Pacu is primarily a vegetarian while a Piranha is a carnivore. The teeth of a Pacu look much like a human's but they are used for eating plant material and nuts that fall in the water in South America. While, not a native fish of course, it should not be called a Piranha or confused as one.

  • Reader of lies

    The pacu is not a piranha. It is a cousin to the piranha. They eat mostly seeds and nuts, not meat. this obviously outgrew someones aquarium and they dumped it in the lake. Just another example of the media sensationalizing what is pretty much a non story. Let scare the crap out of people so they watch our half assed news report

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