Don’t Dump Your Goldfish or Any Other Pets into Nearby Water
Goldfish are now present in at least two ponds in Okotoks. The fish were likely deposited by residents no longer wanting aquarium fish or not wanting to overwinter fish in their backyard pond. This is becoming a common occurrence throughout the province and the fish are managing to overwinter and reproduce. Non-native fish and associated pathogens may pose a threat to native ecosystems and aquatic species.
When other pets get too difficult to manage, some people feel the “humane” thing to do is to release them into the wild. Releasing pets like frogs, turtles, rabbits or aquarium fish into nearby land or water leads to several problems. Most released pets will die, some quickly, possibly after getting hit by a car or being killed by predators, and some slowly die of starvation. Abandoned pets often seek shelter and food among humans, which can lead to nuisance problems. Some released pets are successful in the wild and this can lead to ecological or agricultural disasters. Once established, they can take over their new habitat, reducing native populations and changing the structure of the ecosystem.