All of Red Deer’s stormwater system will be investigated for invasive goldfish and carp once they are eradicated from an Anders pond.
Environmental services manager Tim Ainscough said a West Lake pond will likely be next in line for goldfish removal.
While an orange fish was spotted by residents in the Michael O’Brien Wetland, Ainscough prefers not to list future projects until he determines how much money is left in the budget.
“We will be managing all of our storm infrastructure as we are able to,” he said.
Local storm ponds or drains eventually flow into the Red Deer River — which is why it’s important to get rid of invasive fish that could end up threatening native species.
City workers believe aquarium or ornamental pond fish got into the Anders Pond by being dumped directly into the water or down stormwater drains by people who didn’t want to keep their pet fish anymore.
The City of Red Deer wants to get the word out to residents that nothing should go into these ponds other than stormwater.
This message was expected to be passed on to Anders-area residents at an open house in their neighbourhood on Tuesday evening.
It’s also posted on the city’s reddeer.ca website under the wastewater section, titled “Only rain in the drain.”
Goldfish and koi are closely related to hardy Prussian carp and can cross breed. These voracious fish are survivors, known to over-winter in ponds that freeze to the bottom and out compete native fish for food.
Ainscough isn’t sure how many goldfish are now living in the Anders pond. From Sept. 9 to Oct. 21, a specialist will be killing these goldfish with an organic compound derived from plants called Rotenone.
It’s toxic to fish, but has minimal effect on animals and birds and amphibians, says the city.
Using this product was decided to be the best option for the Anders Pond since there are no native fish species there.
Ainscough said it might not be the optimal solution for other ponds — particularly those with native fish.
In those cases, other methods will be explored.