St. Albert targets invasive goldfish population from local lake

News source from CTV News

Marianne Maravilla, CTV Edmonton

Published Wednesday, September 5, 2018 4:23PM MDT

Last Updated Wednesday, September 5, 2018 7:05PM MDT

The City of St. Albert is working to eradicate an invasive species of fish that has taken over Lacombe Lake.

Officials say the growing population of Asian Goldfish found in the lake poses a threat to other aquatic ecosystems inhabiting the Sturgeon River. The species identified are very prolific breeders which prove their ability to out-compete other fish, Christian Benson, the city’s manager of environment told CTV Edmonton.

“They will compete with our native species for resources and food,” Benson explained. “There’s certainly enough risks that we decided to deal with it.”

Crews began culling fish from the body of water Tuesday with the use of Rotenone, a natural chemical commonly used to get rid of invasive fish. Officials say the treatment is not harmful to humans, pets, wildlife or vegetation, and breaks down naturally after it is used.

This is the city’s second attempt in managing an invasive fish species in its open waters. Last year, crews managed to remove 45,000 goldfish from the Edgewater and Ted Hole storm water ponds. Last week, an 11-year-old boy shared his experience in catching a 16-pound koi from Lacombe Lake, the largest ever recorded in the province.

The goldfish removal program will be underway between September 4 and October 2.

Access to some parts of Lacombe Lake Park may be limited during the removal process.

With files from Jeremy Thompson

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