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Officials remind public not to release goldfish into public waterways

Wednesday, May 13th 2020, 12:37 pm - Goldfish can quickly become a big problem in a pond or lake.

The Scugog Lake Stewards in Port Perry, Ontario are reminding residents not to dump goldfish into public waterways after "thousands" of goldfish were observed swimming in municipal swim water.

Tyler Harrington, a director with the Scugog Lake Stewards, who visited the pond on May 5, told durhamregion.com her's certain someone put the goldfish in the water on purpose, and estimates they've been there for several months, judging by their size.

Harrington says the concern is the storm-water pond is leaking into a nearby creek, and bringing the goldfish with them.

“If they get into Lake Scugog, that could potentially kill lots of fish, the native species of the lake,” said Harrington, noting that goldfish, which are a type of carp, are an invasive species.

PIXABAY - goldfish File photo courtesy: Pixabay.

A BIG PROBLEM

In many parts of North America, goldfish have no known predators and can quickly overwhelm an ecosystem.

Discarded goldfish have been known to grow to the size of a football or larger. They start out small in a household tank but can balloon in size under the right conditions.

They do most of their growing -- and cause the most damage -- during the summer months.

According to Ontario's Invading Awareness Program, the fish stir up mud and debris when they feed, resulting in cloudiness that can have a negative impact on aquatic plants.

DON'T FLUSH THE FISH, EITHER

Officials in both Canada and the U.S. iusse repeated warnings not to flush their pet goldfish, because they could have diseases or parasites that could be introduced into waterways -- this is especially true in communities where water treatment systems are lacking.

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