In an effort to discourage people from flushing fish down their toilets, Buffalo city officials have posted a picture of what can happen to a goldfish when it’s forced to live in raw sewage.

The picture shows a Buffalo Niagara Waterkeeper employee holding the bright orange fish, which measures more than a foot long and eight inches high.

It was caught in Black Rock Canal, just downstream of the city’s wastewater treatment plant.

“We want to remind people that anything they flush down the toilet may end up in the water because of our sewer overflow problem in Buffalo,” rep Chris Murawski says.

Apparently, goldfish are nastier than one might think — Murawski says they can survive year-round and they often destroy the natural habitats of other fish. Scientists estimate there are tens of millions of them in the Great Lakes.

Buffalo Niagara Waterkeeper

This is why you should never flush your fish! This 14-inch goldfish was caught in the Niagara River, just downstream of the wastewater treatment plant. Goldfish can survive year-round in our...