Goldfish Management Program

Update - Lacombe Lake Park

In collaboration with Alberta Environment and Parks, the goldfish removal program was completed between September 4 - 24, 2019. City staff completed two chemical treatments of Lacombe Lake Park, using Rotenone, a naturally occurring compound derived from the roots of tropical plants. Rotenone is not harmful to humans, pets, wildlife or vegetation and breaks down naturally after application.

City staff recorded the following results

  • Total of 120 kg of fish, equalling several hundred fish collected;
  • 5 separate species were identified, all introduced in some form;
  • 16 large Koi were recorded, ranging in size from 30 cm and 3.5 kg to 76 cm and 9 kg (largest recorded in the province); 
  • No rainbow trout were recorded, despite the lake being annually stocked with this species (although not stocked in 2018); and
  • All fish were collected after the first application of Rotenone. The second application did not yield any fish.

20 plus large Goldfish pulled out of Lacombe Lake Park

giant 3 foot goldfish pulled out of Lacombe Lake Park

Please refer to the FAQ document and resident letter for more information.

Goldfish Removal FAQ's 

Resident Letter 


In 2015, the City initiated a program to remove the goldfish from the Edgewater stormwater management facility. The program consisted of drawing down the water level, electrofishing to remove some of the fish and using winter conditions to freeze the remaining water. Unfortunately, this management technique was unsuccessful and live, invasive fish remained in the pond.   

Since the program was initiated in Edgewater stormwater management facility (SMF), additional locations were identified to have goldfish - Ted Hole SMF and Lacombe Lake Park. In 2017, the City completed a chemical treatment of Edgewater SMF and Ted Hole SMF. The program was deemed a success, as staff were able to remove an estimated 45,000 goldfish from both sites. The City will continue to collaborate with the province to identify approaches for the removal of fish or mitigate the risks they present. 

Don't let it loose

Asian Goldfish have been deemed as an invasive species and are a threat to the natural ecosystems and the operations of stormwater systems. The City would like to advise that anyone who can no longer care for their domestic goldfish should speak to their local pet retailers or veterinarian about donating their fish to an aquarium or pond owner or learn about humane disposal.  Information can be found at the Alberta Environment and Parks website.  Releasing live fish into natural or human-made water bodies is illegal and can result in penalties.

Residents are not permitted to catch or remove any fish from a stormwater facility. The removal of invasive species requires a special license from Provincial regulators to research, remove and eradicate the fish.


Government of Alberta's "Don't Let it Loose" Campaign - Poster

Government of Alberta's "Don't Let it Loose" Campaign - Quick Facts Card

Related Pages

Last edited: November 29, 2019