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City of Campbell River to remove invasive goldfish from stormwater pond

The city is also launching a ‘Not for the Wild’ educational campaign

City of Campbell River is warning residents about the impact of invasive species on the environment after staff found a few dozen goldfish in Erickson Pond last year.

The city is planning to remove the fish and has launched an accompanying education campaign about the impact of introducing invasive species.

To share key information and remind people about the negative impacts of introduced invasive species, the city is launching a ‘Not for the Wild’ educational campaign.

The Erickson Stormwater Pond is located in a residential area off Erickson Road and is intended to collect rainwater during high inflows to regulate its re-entry into the environment. The pond is connected to the Willow Creek Watershed, which means any impacts to the pond also impact the watershed, a city press release says.

Last year, the city received reports of goldfish in the pond and a survey found a few dozen of these invasive fish. This is a concern due to their resiliency in various conditions, high reproductive rate and ability to spread.

Additionally, management of invasive plants, like yellow irises, is an ongoing effort around the pond. Both of these invasive species have been introduced by people, and pose a threat to native species, the city says.

While goldfish may seem like harmless house pets, in a pond setting, they can grow to the size of a football and damage natural ecosystems. Meanwhile, irises rapidly form dense cover, blocking native plants from growing and spread thick roots underground that can be very difficult to remove.

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These invasive species are required to be removed. The city is currently working with provincial and federal authorities to develop a plan for the removal of the goldfish. This will involve preliminary work in May, including vegetation removal, sediment assessment and sump pump installation. This work will be followed by fish removal in summer, during the dry period.

“While Erickson Pond is one example of the risks posed by invasive species in our community, these challenges are present in all natural areas,” said Steve Roehr, Operations Manager, Utilities at the City of Campbell River. “These species should never be disposed of in natural environments, and we want to help the public understand why, so that we can maintain healthy ecosystems in our community now and in the future.”

READ MORE: Effort underway to eradicate invasive smallmouth bass from Echo Lake

The ‘Not for the Wild’ educational campaign will help Campbell River residents understand the risks – and high costs – of releasing invasive species into the environment. It will also share information about how to:

- keep these species properly contained

- dispose of invasive species responsibly

- report any findings of invasive species

To learn more about invasive species management in Campbell River, watch the City’s social media pages, listen for tips on local radio or visit the webpage at:

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