Goldfish Threatening Dragon Lake says Councillor
Quesnel, B.C. – There’s something fishy going on in Quesnel and it has the potential to have a negative effect on the local economy.
City councillor John Brisco says it has to do with a recent increase in goldfish in Dragon Lake which he says he started noticing last season during his daily paddles around the lake.
“Actually on a couple of occasions I saw schools of what looked to be koi, like up to a pound, or maybe even bigger.”
He said it prompted him to do a little research and was startled by what he learned.
“The fact is they will eventually outcompete the rainbows (trout) in Dragon Lake for the food sources, not to mention the rainbows spawn and the carp will eat the baby rainbows and the rainbow eggs.”
Brisco fears that will eventually end “our incredibly important rainbow fishery” because the government will have to kill all the fish in the lake.
He says that’s likely a ways off but notes the impact of the rainbow trout fishery is big in the area.
“It’s a massive tourism resource. We have up to 20 pound fish in the lake. And part of the lake is within city boundaries.”
Brisco says the trout attract people from the United States right through to Europe which means they’re spending money on accommodations, food and gas.
Before the problem reaches epic proportions he says it’s important to get the word out about invasive species.
“You know fish aren’t pets, but people think of them as pets so they pour them into a lake. They’d be better off to give them back to the pet shop or just plain exterminate them but don’t put them in our native lakes.”
Brisco warns if people don’t listen their actions will have consequences.
“The size of fish in Dragon Lake will diminish. If they (tourists) keep coming and the size of the fish they’re catching is getting smaller and smaller and there’s fewer of them – they’re going to stop coming.”