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City reminds residents not to release goldfish

August 19, 2022 9:29 AM
(Red Deer, Alberta)

The City of Red Deer is reminding residents that releasing goldfish into natural aquatic ecosystems can have major unintended impacts to the environment.

Goldfish are an invasive species and when they are released into the wild, they alter habitat, take over resources, and can spread disease to native species.

“Goldfish are very damaging to our local aquatic ecosystems,” says Geoff Stewardson, Wastewater Superintendent with The City of Red Deer, “They survive through winters, can quickly take over the habitat, and it takes a lot of time and resources to remove the non-native fish from natural and artificial water bodies.”

Along with goldfish, residents should also avoid placing aquarium plants and water into natural habitats as they can contain eggs that can be fertilized by native fish.

If you need to dispose of unwanted aquarium plants and fish:

  • Pour unwanted aquarium water over dry land and freeze aquarium plants before throwing them in the garbage.
  • Return unwanted live fish to pet stores, donate them to a school or community organization, or find your fish a new, loving home.
  • If your fish passes away, place it in your green cart. Flushing or dumping it can lead to the spread of unwanted diseases.

For more information visit

For more information, contact:

Corporate Communications
The City of Red Deer

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