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Goldfish Belong in Fish Tanks, Not Fish Ponds
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Illegally introduced goldish in the pond at Hailey’s Heagle Park were eradicated using rotenone in September 2020. COURTESY: Idaho Fish and Game
   
Friday, January 13, 2023
 

BY KAREN BOSSICK

Who let the goldfish out?

Or, rather, put them in?

That’s the question Idaho Fish and Game officials are asking after someone illegally introduced goldfish to the popular Castle Rock State Park Pond.

Idaho Fish and Game will have to close the fishing pond to the public beginning Jan. 20 to apply a substance that will kill all fish in the pond, as a result. Fish and Game officers will apply rotenone—something they had to do to the Heagle Park Pond in Hailey in 2020 after someone illegally introduced goldfish there.

The Castle Rock State Park Pond will be reopened to the public in early May, and hatchery fish stocking will resume then.

“It is unfortunate that we have to close public access,” said Tucker Brauer, regional fishery biologist with the Magic Valley Region. “This is our only recourse to reset the pond to support sport fish that anglers love to catch.”

Rotenone is a plant-derived fish toxicant that is widely used for fish control projects throughout the United States,” said Terry Thompson, Idaho Fish and Game’s regional communications manager. It is used to address illegally introduced fish that can cause serious damage to natural ecosystems. Such fish are extremely difficult to remove once established.

Individuals who transplant fish where they don’t belong can be held legally responsible for the financial costs to restore the fishery to its prior conditions. These costs can add up to hundreds of thousands of dollars. Such individuals can also be charged with a felony.

Questions? Call the Magic Valley Regional Office at 208-324-4359.

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