Monster-sized goldfish are taking over an Alberta city that now has to cull them by the thousands
Leah Kongsrude, St. Albert’s environment director, says she’s seen captured goldfish up to 30 centimetres in length, compared to ones sold by pet stores that measure only about two centimetres
Thousands of gold fish have been removed from a pond in Cobourg, Ont. on Friday November 14, 2014. Postmedia
ST. ALBERT, Alta. — Workers have dipped nets and a naturally occurring chemical into a storm water retention pond near Edmonton in a bid to kill thousands of unwanted goldfish that have made the water body home.
Officials say the aquatic invaders are the result of goldfish reproducing after people released their unwanted pets into the wild or flushed them down the toilet.
Leah Kongsrude, St. Albert’s environment director, says she’s seen captured goldfish up to 30 centimetres in length, compared to ones sold by pet stores that measure only about two centimetres.
Kongsrude says goldfish are hardy and can out-compete naturally occurring species for food.
Crews used nets on Tuesday to remove the reddish-gold swimmers and also applied the chemical, Rotenone, which is used to remove unwanted fish species from fresh water.
The pond will be checked later on to determine whether the cull was successful, and workers will also watch another nearby body of water to determine whether goldfish have taken up residence there.
Kongsrude said the city is lucky the fish are just in the pond and not in the Sturgeon River, which flows through St. Albert.
“We pumped this pond down and froze it right to the bottom in the winter and they were back in the spring. So they can live with very limited oxygen and low water temperatures.”
Officials are also reminding residents to not release any fish into any pond or body of water in Alberta — including flushing Goldie down the sewer.
“As much as your cute goldfish is in your tank, as soon as you let it out into the natural environment they grow, they become very competitive,” said Kongsrude.
Alberta Environment has also come up with what Kongsrude called the best way to dispose of a dead fish — a fish coffin. (CTV Edmonton)