Recently a man named Russ Schut was fishing in Sproat Lake, which is on Vancouver Island (Canada), just northeast of Washington state.
With just a worm as bait, Russ was able to haul in a 2-foot-long American bullfrog (which he released).
Schut posted this picture with the enormous frog thinking that it wasn’t particularly exceptional, other than being impressively large.
But according to GrindTV.com the photograph was noticed and has fueled concern that the,
“…voracious amphibians are spreading unchecked across the British Columbia island’s landscape. Because they’re not native to the Canadian southwest and have few natural predators, such as alligators, water snakes, and kingfishers in their native American southeast, some of the bullfrogs are growing to abnormally large sizes.”
American Bullfrogs grow to an average length of around 7 inches and weigh up to 1.5 pounds, so the 2-foot-long Bullfrog caught by Russ Schut was defintly abnormal.
Gail Wallin works with the Invasive Species Council of British Columbia. She told Alberni Valley Times that these frogs are,
“Big and voracious…And when you’ve got a species like that, that can basically out-eat some of the native species; it will take away the forage that native species would use and at times they can be aggressive on other smaller-sized, earlier life-cycle frogs.”
A current study at the University of Victoria is mapping the rate of the bullfrogs’ spread. Wallin has theorized that they were initially introduced to the area by people emptying their aquariums, unaware of the environmental consequences.
According to National Geographic, American bullfrogs can lay as many as 20,000 eggs, with tadpoles sometimes reaching lengths of 7 inches. These bullfrogs populate quickly and with few natural predators in the area they also populate effectively. Suitably, a group of bullfrogs is called an army, or colony.
Though native to the American southwest, they now range throughout the continuous U.S., as far north as Canada and as far south as Mexico and Cuba. Their presence also has been documented in Europe, South America, and Asia.