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Conservation plan wipes out goldfish

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Conservation plan wipes out goldfish



Oct 28, 2009

Eric McGuinness / The Hamilton Spectator



Goodbye, goldfish.


The Hamilton Conservation Authority believes it has eradicated most, if not all, goldfish from McCormack and Merrick ponds in the Dundas Valley, where they threatened endangered Jefferson salamanders and other native amphibians.


Ecologist Shari Faulkenham says an Owen Sound company applied the plant-based pesticide rotenone last week with almost-immediate results.


Enough goldfish to fill three 150-litre containers were removed from McCormack Pond. Faulkenham says that confirms earlier estimates of 40,000 in the pond, because many of those killed likely settled to the bottom. About a dozen large adults and several dozen yearlings were removed from Merrick Pond.


"So I would like to claim success," she said, "but it is difficult to say if it is 100 per cent success at this time."


Faulkenham said experts are confident any remaining goldfish will die before the chemical breaks down completely. Checks for live fish will be made next month.


People have been seen leaving one of the ponds with nets and pails at night, officials say, leading them to believe the goldfish were planted illegally with the intention of letting them breed, then harvesting them for sale as aquarium feeder fish.

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