Department of Conservation staff went gold-fishing in Albert
Town yesterday, hauling more than 100 of the fish from the
Wanaka suburb's Riverside Park pond.
The fish were caught in nets and appeared to be in very good
health. Several were estimated to weigh at least half a
Dunedin ranger Daniel Jack said the fish were almost ready to
spawn and that added some urgency to the task of removing
Doc was concerned the fish might escape into the nearby
Albert Town lagoon, then into the Clutha River and ultimately
into Lake Dunstan, where they would compete with other fish
species, such as trout.
Mr Jack said it would have been difficult to remove the fish
from the much larger lagoon and virtually impossible to
eradicate them from Lake Dunstan.
Conservation services manager Chris Sydney believes the
goldfish were put into the Albert Town pond deliberately by
someone emptying a private pond or aquarium.
Under most circumstances, it is illegal to release fish into
waterways without approval.
Mr Jack said he expected to catch most of the fish alive in
nets over the next few days and they were being transferred
to a pond well away from the Clutha.