The city has found a foreign fish species in the Muskoseepi Park Pond. While finding fish in water may not seem like an issue, Environmental Technologist Kase Devries says if they’re an invasive species it could threaten native ones and disrupt the ecosystem.
“There’s natural species that take care of other species, and so numbers work together; there’s no overpopulation of anything. It’s where you get invasive species that often don’t have natural predators and when they don’t have a natural predator they can take hold and take over and really become an issue.”
The fish were spotted last week and it’s unclear at this point how they got there. Devries says it’s important that people don’t dump their pets and potentially introduce an invasive species to the ecosystem.
“If you’re going to get rid of your fish in your aquarium, it’s best that you not introduce them into the wild. Although that is always a nice thing and we want to do that, it’s not necessarily the best thing to do and that certainly can pose some risks if those species take hold and take over the natural species in those areas.”
There’s also concerns that if the pond were to overflow, the fish could spread into other bodies of water. A sample of the fish have been sent off for analysis at the University of Alberta. In the meantime, Alberta Environment will hold off on stocking the pond with trout.