The provincial government has closed a B.C. lake to recreational fishing in order to stop the spread of an invasive species – goldfish.
The common pet was recently identified in Lost Lake, which is located 1.1 kilometres from the Kitsumkalum River, about 10 kilometres north of Terrace.
Officials say that goldfish introductions have had destructive effects in British Columbia. According to the Province, goldfish are being intentionally released into B.C. waters by pet owners.
However, releasing aquarium fish into local natural waterbodies is illegal.
Non-native species can have significant impacts on wild fish populations, which is why the public is urged to return unwanted fish to pet stores rather than releasing them.
Officials say that goldfish introductions have had destructive effects in British Columbia.
Goldfish compete with native fish species for food and they prey on native fish species as well. They can also disturb sediment while feeding, which increases water turbidity and may harm aquatic plants.
The ministry of forests and lands says that how long goldfish have been in Lost Lake is uncertain, however multiple sizes of goldfish are evident, which suggests they are reproducing.
The ministry added that biologist are working on completing assessment of the lake to determine the extent of the goldfish population. They’re also looking at how to prevent the goldfish from spreading into the Skeena watershed.
The closure will begin on Saturday, June 22, 2019, and will remain in effect until further notice.