piranha was caught in 1987.
On July 4, 1987, a lone piranha was caught in the San Joaquin River in the western part of Fresno County. It was fished out of the San Joaquin River north of the city of Kerman along a stretch of river near the intersection of Madera Avenue (Hwy. 145) and Modoc Avenue (this is according to the LA Times, but is incorrect as both Modoc Ave and Hwy. 145 run north/south and therefore are parallel).
The fish was about 15 inches in length and weighed roughly two pounds. A biologist with the Department of Fish and Game confirmed that the fish had been in the river for some time as its growth pattern and scales confirmed it came from the San Joaquin.
More representatives from Fish and Game were dispatched to determine if there were any more of the fish, which is illegal to own in California, as there was a rumor that another fisherman had caught another piranha downstream, but nothing was ever found.
The question remains, even twenty three years later. Where did the piranha come from? Most likely a person somehow obtained the piranha, probably for a fish tank, and when the fish started eating the other fish the owner decided that it would be smart to dump it in the San Joaquin instead of disposing of the fish. Who knows how long the fish was in the river before the fisherman caught it.
Full source: Los Angeles Times