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A Tucson fisherman hoping to catch trout at Silverbell Lake hooked this instead
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A Tucson fisherman hoping to catch trout at Silverbell Lake hooked this instead

A local fisherman captured a fish he didn't expect to find in Tucson's Silverbell Lake and believed it was a piranha. 

Jeff Evans, who has visited the north side fishing site for seven years, said he caught the three-pound fish on Friday. 

Evans was at the lake to catch trout and initially thought it was an Oscar fish. 

"I could see them, there were about five or six of them and I lost it the first time I hooked it, it broke the hook," Evans said.

After switching to a bigger fishing hook he was able to capture it and keep it at the shore.

Evans said the fish could possibly be dangerous if people don't know what they've caught. "It physically tried to get me a few times...that's all it did was try to bite."  

The 49-year-old has fished for more than 20 years and it is his second time catching a similar type of fish.

The Arizona Game and Fish Department fills Silverbell Lake with trout, sunfish and catfish for citizens to obtain.

Mark Hart, the department's spokesman, said the fish resembles a piranha but their fisheries manager confirmed it is actually a Pacu Fish. 

People dump different kinds of fish quite often, according to Hart.

"It happens a lot...either fish they've caught at another location or whether they had it in an aquarium and decided they don't want them," he said. "For whatever reason they just dump them."

The responsible parties are able to dump the fish secretly throughout the 13-acre lake which makes it difficult for the department to hold accountable.

Contact Star reporter Shaq Davis at 573-4218 or

On Twitter: @ShaqDavis1

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