PHOTOS: Detroit woman catches Pacu fish, South American relative of piranha in Lake St. Clair

HARRISON TOWNSHIP, Mich. - The Department of Natural Resources confirms a metro Detroit woman caught a Pacu fish in Lake St. Clair last week.

Tom and Holley Luft  were fishing when Holley says she caught the 14" South American relative of the piranha in Harrison Township near Shook and Jefferson, on July 9.

At the time she said they weren't sure what it was and the it sort of looked like a Blue Gill. However, it wasn't until they got it under a better light that they saw the teeth. That's when Tom thought it was a piranha.

The DNR believes the fish was likely someone's pet and likely got too big or too aggressive for its aquarium. The owner may have then dumped it into the lake.

The omnivorous fish have square, human-like teeth and can grow up to 55 lbs in the wild.

Ultimately the Pacu will end up at the State of Michigan DNR Library for Invasive Species. A DNR agent who has been on the job for more than 20 years and he's only seen about a half dozen of them.

Because they are tropical, Pacu are not likely to survive a winter in the Great Lakes.

Pacu can be legally owned and purchased small from tropical fish stores for about $12.

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