For a while now, St. Albert residents had been seeing schools of gold fish in local storm water ponds. People around Edgewater Park storm water facility would remark about its unique “golden hue.” Little did they know it was because of a growing population of Asian Goldfish let loose by people no longer wanting to be pet owners.
Problem is – Nemo is not meant to be free.
Asian Goldfish have been deemed an invasive species and are a threat to the natural ecosystems and the operations of storm water systems. They look cute when they are small in a fish bowl, but when released they grow and adapt to the environment they live in.
To combat the quickly growing fish population, the City initiated a plan to remove the goldfish from Edgewater Park storm water facility in the fall of 2015. The program consisted of drawing down the water level in the reservoir, electrofishing to remove some of the fish and using winter conditions to freeze the remaining water. Unfortunately, Asian Goldfish are hardy fish. The technique didn’t work as well as was hoped and the fish prevailed.
Soon after, other locations were found to have Asian Goldfish – Ted Hole Park and Lacombe Park Lake.
So, the City of St. Albert joined in partnership with Alberta Environment and Parks in the Don’t Let It Loose program. To prevent more growth and potential movement of the goldfish to other water bodies, an organic chemical named Rotenone was provided by the Government of Alberta to treat the water bodies and remove the fish.
The treatments of Edgewater Park and Ted Hole Park storm water facilities started in late September and ran until October. This new removal process was a great success.
Word spread quickly about St. Albert’s plight to remove the “Franken-fish.” The City’s initiative gained a lot of notoriety in the local media and around the world, with stories showing up in The New York Post, UK Daily and in China!
Remember – Don’t Let It Loose!
Last edited: October 24, 2017