Valley

Don’t ditch your fish – Goldfish gone wild

Wednesday 6 July, 2011
An electrofishing study, funded by the Goulburn Broken Catchment Management Authority (CMA), in wetlands along the Goulburn River floodplain has discovered large amounts of Goldfish and Carp within these areas. These introduced fish compete with native fish, decrease water quality and can spread diseases through native species.

An electrofishing study, funded by the Goulburn Broken Catchment Management Authority (CMA), in wetlands along the Goulburn River floodplain has discovered large amounts of Goldfish and Carp within these areas. These introduced fish compete with native fish, decrease water quality and can spread diseases through native species.

"Whilst Goldfish can make great pets they present real issues for our native fish. Dumping or flushing goldfish can cause major problems for waterways. Goldfish forage for food and "muddy" up the bottom of rivers, lakes and wetlands causing water to become turbid. They are aggressive and compete for food against our native fish, feed on native fish fingerlings and tolerate a large range of environments" says Goulburn Broken CMA CEO, Mr Chris Norman.

Introduced fish such as Goldfish often inhabit waterways that have abundant food resources and are of a harsh environment. They carry diseases that can affect our native fish and recreational fish including "Goldfish Ulcer" which can affect trout.

Goldfish tolerate a range of environments and food sources and as such can survive and out-compete our native fish species. They have a high reproductive output and mature early. They can be highly aggressive and lack predators and competitors

Wayne Tennant, Manger Strategic River Health at the CMA and Member of the MDBA Native Fish Team said it is also important not to use goldfish and other alien species as live bait. This is a major way in which exotic pest species are transported between water bodies.

Controlling alien fish species and managing fish translocation are two key driving actions of the Native Fish Strategy, which aims to protect the health of native fish within the Murray Darling Basin.

Others include rehabilitating native fish habitat, protecting fish habitat, managing riverine structures and protecting threatened native fish species," said Mr Tennant

Dumping goldfish or aquarium plants is detrimental to our waterways. Goldfish lay eggs on plants which can allow the Goldfish to get into our waterways if dumped. Aquarium plants can also become major invasive weeds, such as Cabomba in the Benalla Lake

Please help keep our waterways clean and our native fish healthy. If you no longer want your pet fish try and find an alternative home or speak to your local pet store.

RELEASE ENDS