Schoolboy reels in 5lb goldfish

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The Independent Online

A schoolboy angler reeled in what is thought to be the biggest goldfish ever found in Britain, it emerged today.

The 5lb, 16in monster was plucked from a lake in Poole, Dorset, by 16-year-old Nick Richards.

It is thought to have been abandoned after outgrowing its tank and has since thrived on plenty of food in the sheltered lake.

It beats Goldie the pet goldfish from Folkestone, Kent, who at 15.7ins long and weighing 2lbs, was branded the biggest in Britain in 2008.

The teenager from Camberley, Surrey, has just finished taking his GCSEs at Collingwood College, Camberley, and was hoping for a carp when he spotted the flash of orange under the water.

He told the Guardian newspaper: "At first I thought it must be a really fat koi carp, but when I saw it properly I realised it was a common goldfish - just like one you might keep as a pet.

"It looked like it was healthy and in good condition."

He jokingly named it Billy before throwing it back into the lake.

Ruth Lockwood, from the English Carp Heritage Organisation, said it was hard to confirm whether this goldfish - Latin name Carassius auratus auratus - had broken any records. It is an ornamental fish and any record would not be recognised by the British Records Fish Committee, she said.