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October 27, 2017 11:26 pm

Volunteers Stem Goldfish Attack in Quesnel

Friday, April 8, 2016 @ 2:16 PM

goldfishQuesnel, B.C. – An environmental education and restoration group in Quesnel has declared war on goldfish.

Tracy Bond, executive director of the Baker Creek Enhancement Society, says a small group of volunteers pulled approximately 4,500 goldfish – an invasive species – from Dragon Lake this week.

Unfortunately, she says that probably only scratches the surface.

“I don’t think anyone could give you an estimate as to how many there are because it’s an unknown,” says Bond. “It’s hard to tell, I think they’re in pockets within the lake.”

She says what’s more concerning is the threat they pose.

Phil Megysi & Trelane Hargreaves (foreground) help remove fish from Dragon Lake - photos courtesy Baker Creek Enhancement Society

Phil Megysi & Trelane Hargreaves (foreground) help remove fish from Dragon Lake – photos courtesy Baker Creek Enhancement Society

“Dragon Lake is a sports fishing lake and it also hosts habitat for other fish, frogs and toads within the marshes. So what they’re doing is they are taking habitat and food away from our native species.”

Bond is worried what that might do to trout. “They haven’t out competed the trout in the lake, but that’s not to say we’re not going to reach a tipping point sometime soon.”

Last year Quesnel City Councillor John Brisco told 250News the City relies heavily on what he called the City’s “incredibly important trout fishery.”

He said the trout is so popular they attract tourists from across the United States and Europe.

“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.”

Bond figures the goldfish were dumped into the lake by someone who either had a pond or recreational fish and have thrived ever since.

“They are very tough and can survive difficult circumstances. They’re much tougher than our native species.”

So where does Bond and the Baker Creek Enhancement Society go from here?

“The reality is there’s no way we can get rid of them, it’s basically impossible once they’re in there, at least with the tools and strategies that we have at this point.

“But what our hope is and what we’re doing, is we’re just trying to knock the population back a little bit and take as many as we can out to perhaps give us more time to come up with some other strategies.”


how on earth did they get in there in the first place? people get tired of their yard ponds and dump them in there?

    as a matter of fact, yes!

St. Albert in Alberta has similar problem.. They should get in touch with each other

    As opposed to St. Alberta in BC, right?

      That’s “St Albert” NOT ST Alberta Arnold. Could’ve been St Albert Alabama.

There fish do they taste good ? if not bottom feeders they should be OK , i would give one a try.

    Goldfish are members of the carp family, to which Koi also belong. The are bottom feeders which continuously stir up mud from the bottom. Koi, if released into the wild revert to common carp again.

    Yes, they are edible.

How are they catching them and do they bite on a hook?

Whoever dumped them into the lake in the first place should be dumped into the lake also. I will give you 3 guesses as to whom it was and the first 2 don’t count.

Exactly what is an invasive species? One that some interest groups don’t want?


The above link calls them nonindigenous. In other words they are like the European settlers in the Americas.

“Courtenay and Stauffer (1990) reported that the first recorded goldfish releases in the United States occurred during the late 1600s, and they suggested that these earliest introductions resulted from intentional releases by settlers wanting to add it to the North American fish fauna, as opposed to goldfish escaping from ponds.”

“During the late 1800s the U.S. Fish Commission raised the species and was responsible for distributing it to many states.”

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