The introduction of common, aquarium goldfish to a Northern B.C. lake has forced the province to shut it down to recreational fishing.
The Ministry of Forests says the closure is to prevent the spread of the invasive species.
According to the ministry, the fish were recently identified in Lost lake, about 10 kilometres north of Terrace.
The introduction of goldfish has had destructive effects in the past.
While it''s not clear how long the fish have been in Lost Lake, multiple sizes are said to be evident, suggesting they are reproducing.
The ministry says biologists are trying to determine the extent of the population, while also developing a strategy of interventions and treatment options to prevent goldfish from spreading in the Skeena watershed.
"Releasing aquarium fish into local natural waterbodies is illegal," the ministry says in a news release.
"Non-native species can have significant impacts on wild fish populations. The Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development urges the public to return any unwanted fish to pet stores rather than releasing them into the wild."