Gateway Gazette

Town asks Residents Not to Release Goldfish into Storm Ponds

Goldfish Koi CarpHigh River: A biologist from Advisian (WorleyParsons Group) is working with the Town of High River to correct a major issue with domestic goldfish, also known as Prussian Carp, entering the local storm water pond systems.

There are 35-100 Prussian Carp that have been observed in the fore bays in the Highwood Lake storm pond system.

“Prussian Carp pose threats to native fish populations by outcompeting native species for food and habitat, as well as spreading new diseases and pathogens,” said Craig Mushens, aquatic sciences manager and senior fish biologist with Advisian. “They have been shown to easily spread from one water body to another, and it is extremely costly and difficult to try and manage, contain and destroy them once they have become established.”

The Town, in partnership with Advisian, is working with the Provincial Invasive Species Specialist and has screened off the fore bays to prevent the invasive fish from following the water flow into larger ponds or the Highwood River. The fish will then need to be salvaged in order to prevent further contamination and risk to the native fish habitat and aquatic ecosystems.

Residents who can no longer care for their domestic goldfish are advised to speak to local pet retailers or veterinarians about donating their fish to an aquarium or pond owner or to learn about humane disposal.

Releasing live fish into Alberta water bodies is illegal. Penalties for illegally transferring fish can be up to $100,000 and/or a year in prison. For more information please visit http://esrd.alberta.ca/recreation-public-use/invasive-species/fish.aspx

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