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City again ridding Muskoseepi Park pond of goldfish

For the second time in three years, the City of Grande Prairie is dealing with a goldfish problem. The Muskoseepi Park pond will again be closed for up to six weeks for the most recent batch to be exterminated.

Alberta Environment and Parks will be using a chemical called Rotenone to get rid of the fish. It’s considered the most effective way to kill invasive goldfish while having the least impact on the overall ecosystem as it is only toxic to animals with gills like fish.

The City says the species of goldfish is the same kind as those that appeared in the pond in 2016. Rotenone was also used in that case and was considered a success.

“The invasive goldfish must be eliminated from the pond as they are dangerous and harmful to waterbodies,” the City says in a release. “The species disrupts the naturally occurring ecosystem by reproducing rapidly, surviving through cold temperatures and low oxygen levels, and by out-competing native fish species for food and habitat.”

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The last time around, it was believed the fish had been intentionally put in the water and had spent at least one winter there. These ones were caught much earlier, but Alberta Environment has reportedly told the City that if they are found in the pond again, it may no longer be stocked with trout for recreational fishing.

“The public are reminded not to release invasive species into the wild,” the City says. “Releasing invasive fish into Alberta waterbodies is illegal and can result in personal fines of over $100,000 and/or jail time.”

The pond will be closed as of September 4th so crews can figure out how many fish there are. Treatment will happen on September 7th, and then the water will be monitored for up to six weeks to make sure all the fish are gone.

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