Pelicans appear to have feasted on the 3,000 to 4,000 goldfish in Teller Lake No. 5 in Boulder County. 

(Photo courtesy Colorado Parks and Wildlife)

The massive school of Boulder goldfish in Teller Lake No. 5 is no longer such a big deal.

The once estimated 3,000 to 4,000 goldfish -- which were believed to be spawned from the type of goldfish available at pet stores -- were a non-native species to the lake and threatening the ecosystem. But according to recent estimates by Colorado Parks and Open Space, there are just few left in the lake this week.

"At this point we think this problem has solved itself," said Jennifer Churchill, a spokesperson with Colorado Parks and Wildlife.

Biologists discovered that the goldfish had disappeared this week. While there, they observed pelicans flying in and scooping up the fish. 

"This is the first time we've actually seen this. It's not unheard of obviously," said Churchill. 

The goldfish gained notoriety April 8 during an interview with All Things Considered. After that, their story made the rounds to Comedy CentralNewsweek, and even landed into the pages of the Guardian. 

The story is funny, but Churchill said the concerns are very real. Water is king in Colorado and invasive species can travel quickly through other waterways. Colorado Parks and Wildlife officials were seeking  a way to quickly curb the issue of the goldfish, which will push out native species in water and can potentially introduce diseases.

Surprisingly, the story of invasive goldfish isn't new to Boulder. Churchill said the city had another problem back in 2012 that didn't receive nearly the same amount of media attention in south Boulder's Thunderbird Lake.

"It's a much smaller lake than Teller Lake and it was pretty much filled with goldfish," she said. In that instance, the fish were stunned electronically and donated to a center that rehabilitates raptors.

Churchill said she thought the pictures from the 2012 incident were more remarkable because the lake was smaller and the fish looked more prevalent. But there was something in the 2015 Boulder goldfish in Teller Lake No. 5 that made them destined for the spotlight.

"I don't know why it went international to be honest. I don't know if it's because it's spring," said Churchill. "We can only hope that people will get educated and understand that it's an invasive species issue, it's an exotic species introduced to the environment. In the long run, that's going to be really bad for our ecosystem."