Illegally dumped goldfish turn into giants in Canadian waters

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By Amanda Watts


(CNN) — We’re gonna need a bigger boat.

Officials in Alberta, Canada, say dumping of live goldfish into the ecosystem has resulted in freakishly large fish. The invasive species has no natural predator and is thriving in poor water conditions, according to Kate Wilson, aquatic invasive species specialist with Alberta Environment and Parks.

“The biggest one we’ve caught is the size of a dinner plate,” Wilson said.

“That’s the crazy thing about domestic aquatic pets, you have them in your aquarium and they are this cute little thing and then you release it into the wild and that constraint of size and food is gone and because of that some of these species can get really big,” Wilson said.

The fish are reproducing in cold, harsh, low-oxygenated areas like Fort McMurray, which is 275 miles north of Edmonton in Alberta. That is they caught the four generations of fish pictured above.

Wilson warns, “We are estimating hundreds of thousands are in flowing rivers and water. My biggest concern is people are doing this because they think it’s the humanitarian thing to do. We really need to correct misinformation.”

It is illegal to dump or transfer live fish from one body of water to another. Aquarium owners who no longer want their finned friends have a few options: Contact a retailer for a possible return, give the fish away, donate it to a school or talk to a veterinarian about humane disposal.


  • Trevor

    I had two in a 10 gallon tank for 2 years. They grew to about 5 inches long. Fun to watch them, they were huge!

  • Robert

    Our government officials aren’t even honest by themselves. They get paid by the tax payer money so why they should be care about the environment. Get paid, go home and sleep happily. What a awesome game. One of my angler friend recently contacted to Kate Wilson, Invasive Species Specialist for Alberta Environment & Parks and her colleague to know where (Ponds, Lake, River, and Streams) these carp, goldfish or perhaps Asian Carp are reside in Alberta so that they can be catch, killed or consume. To my friend, she even didn’t respond his email. Carp is one of the best fish in our Chinese Community and it’s also an expensive fish in our Calgary local T&T supermarket. I’m thinking Kate Wilson may have been affiliate with the local fish business, otherwise, why she didn’t even responded to my friend’s inquiry. Even worst, misled public by this article.

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