Invasive goldfish face electrocution in B.C.
Turns out the orange fish we cared for as children are an invasive species
The familiar orange fish that many of us knew and cared for as pets during childhood is at the centre of a massive takedown.
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Volunteers suited up in Ghostbusters-like backpacks have spent the past two days electrocuting goldfish in Dragon Lake, near Quesnel, B.C.
It's believed the fish were dumped there by former owners, and over the years their numbers have multiplied. Now the lake is up to its gills in goldfish.
"They've been able to breed in the lake for years," said Tracy Bond, of the Baker Creek Enhancement Society, an environmental group.
Bond said the goldfish are displacing native fish, eating their food and taking over their habitat.
So far, the crews, who've had training in use of the equipment, have taken about 4,500 goldfish out of the water. The volunteers wade into the water, placing a wand beneath the surface, which creates a charge which stuns or kills the fish.
Bond said there could still be many more goldfish in the lake. Unlike the fragile goldfish we kept in bowls, these have turned out to be tough.
"They can handle things our native fish can't handle," said Bond.
The goldfish are in the lake's shallow area in the reeds, she said.
"We think they're probably spawning," she said, "They are hanging out in shallow water and don't have the other species around them."
The group has the proper permits for electrocuting the fish and is working on finding other techniques for catching the fish once they are on the move.
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