Massive Goldfish caught in Hamilton Harbour

Originally seen in Fish’n Canada’s Week in Review

Last week, Fisheries and Oceans Canada posted to their Facebook page a photo of a massive Goldfish caught in the Hamilton Harbour. The fish was caught thanks to a tagging program that is tracking the fish using acoustic tags. The goal of the program is to monitor how these fish are impacting the waterways they now inhabit and inform future management practices.

Our editor, Dean Taylor, knows all about this problem and has dealt with these fish first-hand. As he mentioned in an article for Outdoor Canada last spring, the problems that these fish can cause are substantial and Canadians should be doing all they can to keep these former pets out of our waterways.

FNC editor Dean Taylor with a BC Goldfish

According to Dean, one of the main problems with Goldfish is their surprisingly large appetite. “Once released into the wild,” says Dean, “they will spend most of their time foraging for snails, small insects, fish eggs, and even young fish. Those feeding habits, coupled with fast growth rates and semi-annual spawning, make goldfish fierce competitors with native fish species that rely on the same food sources.” These feeding habits also have the potential to change lake composition as they dig for snails, stir-up sediment, and cloud up once clear waterways.

In terms of how these fish are entering our waterways, the culprit is primarily the dumping of live Goldfish by irresponsible pet owners. Oftentimes, these fish start their journey in small suburban ponds before reaching larger waterways through connecting streams and high-water events. In Lake Ontario, however, where the Goldfish population is now projected at 50 million, past-flushing of unwanted fish may indeed be the culprit.

For more on this topic and to find out how you can help stop the spread, check out Dean’s full article over at!

This excerpt was taken from Fish’n Canada’s Week in Review, our weekly recap of all things relevant to the Canadian outdoorsman. For more stories like this, check out the full article below and tune back in every Friday to catch up on everything you missed!

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