Goldfish Education

Did you know that goldfish are an invasive species that can damage our local aquatic ecosystems?

Goldfish are a non-native invasive species and pose a threat to our local aquatic ecosystems. The Fisheries Act specifies that actions must be taken to remove non-native fish species, including goldfish, from natural and artificial water bodies, including stormwater management facilities, due to potential risks to native species and their habitat. These risks include:

  • Competition with native species for habitat and resources
  • Increased turbidity caused by goldfish stirs up sediments and nutrients, leading to increased algae and plants
  • Introduced diseases/parasites
  • Reduction in biodiversity

Goldfish should never be dumped into local water bodies, into storm drains or flushed down a toilet. If you no longer wish to care for your goldfish, connect with friends, family or local pet stores to see if you can rehome the fish. If your goldfish has passed away, do not flush or dump it. Please bury the carcass to avoid the spread of harmful bacteria.

Anders stormwater pond maintenance

Fountain removal and repairs
September 2019

The fountains in the Anders pond are typically removed in mid-September in preparation for winter. One fountain has already been removed for repairs and the second fountain will be removed as well. We expect both fountains will be reinstalled in the spring.

Goldfish Removal
September-October, 2019

An invasive goldfish population has been identified in the Anders pond. The goldfish population will be removed in order to protect our native aquatic species and ecosystems, and to ensure the goldfish do not enter the storm system or the Red Deer River.

In keeping with the Fisheries (Alberta) Act, and based on best practices from other communities, The City will use a treatment called Rotenone to remove the goldfish. This task includes:

  • Closing and fencing off the Anders pond and surrounding area for the protection of residents, pets, and wildlife.
  • Applying/spraying the Rotenone solution to the pond and surrounding area.
  • Collecting and removing the fish carcasses from the pond.
  • Ensuring all safe handling procedures are adhered to, according to federal and provincial regulations.

The goldfish removal process is expected to take approximately six weeks and is scheduled for September 9 to October 21, 2019. The pond will be fenced off for the duration of the process, but local trails will remain open.

Advisian was contracted to complete the goldfish removal on behalf of The City. During the Rotenone application, staff in safety gear will be working at the pond. Please know that this gear is required while they handle a concentrated solution, however the chemical is diluted during application and poses a low risk to wildlife and people outside the fenced area. Contracted staff will return to the site to account for and collect the fish after the treatment, as per guidelines in the Fisheries (Alberta) Act.

For your safety, please follow posted rules and ensure children and pets are kept outside of all fenced areas for the duration of the project.

Please refer to our Backgrounder (pdf) for additional information.

Sediment removal
November-December, 2019

Once cooler temperatures set in, Environmental Services staff will drain the Anders pond as well as the smaller ponds in the gardens across from the Red Deer Hospice in order to collect and remove sediments that have collected at the bottom. Removing the sediment ensures the ponds are at optimal capacity to hold stormwater, and cold temperatures allow for efficient collection and removal of sediment. The Anders pond will be fenced off once again for the safety of residents and wildlife.

Once the process is complete, staff will reopen stormwater pipes to allow the pond to refill naturally. As a result, the pond will not be ready for a skating rink this upcoming winter season.