Okanagan-Similkameen residents reminded to not release goldfish into the wild

Goldfish infestation remains

A non-profit organization dedicated to tackling invasive species in the Okanagan-Similkameen got a report in this week from a local angler who spotted goldfish while ice fishing at Yellow Lake near Keremeos.

The Okanagan and Similkameen Invasive Species Society (OASISS) shared that this is not a new sighting in the area.

"Goldfish are well established in this lake and others in the Okanagan and Similkameen region. They are likely the result of released pets and are invasive," they wrote in their Facebook post.

"Goldfish are from eastern Asia. When released into the wild they prey on native species and compete with them for food. They can also spread disease. Goldfish are one of the most widespread invasive fish in North America."

The goldfish were first discovered in Yellow Lake back in 2015. Their population has seen growth over the years, often overwhelming the local trout and sockeye population that are stocked annually by the Freshwater Fisheries Society of B.C.

In 2019, a Northern B.C. lake was forced to shut down its recreational fishing after the goldfish population grew and overtook the native species.

OASISS pleaded with the community to not release any unwanted fish, aquarium plants or other pets into the wild.

"Consider alternatives such as rehoming your pet or returning it to the store."

More information can be found online here.

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