July 19, 2024
Province says goldfish found in more than 50 locations across Alberta
Disproportionately large goldfish caught in a storm water pond in Fort McMurray in 2015.
Disproportionately large goldfish caught in a storm water pond in Fort McMurray in 2015.

A fishy feeling has arisen once again in Alberta as the province looks to scale back schools of goldfish floating in Alberta.

The province says over 50 locations are infested with the fast-mating fish, causing problems for natural species that call Alberta ponds, lakes and rivers home.

“We’ve had some significant catches of people angling and pulling out goldfish the size of dinner plates,” said Nicole Kimmel, aquatic invasive species specialist with the province.

“They’re mostly centered around urban landscapes where we have higher populations because people are likely introducing them into stormwater management ponds for the most part.”

The pets-turned-fauna goldfish, officially dubbed Prussian carp, are able to produce at astronomical rates. So fast that two years ago, officials removed 45,000 goldfish from two storm management facilities in St. Albert.

“A single female can produce anywhere from 500 to 1,000 eggs at one time, and if the conditions are nice, warm and favourable, they can do that multiple times a summer,” said Kimmel, adding other species of fish usually can’t produce at such rate. “The goldfish can reproduce at a fairly young age — it only takes them one to two years to become reproductive, where our native fish take about five years.”

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