Today goldfish, tomorrow …

One of the few confirmed aquatic outsiders making their way into Yukon bodies of water are goldfish. Apparently, parents unable to kill little Goldie have been releasing the fish in a pond at the Takhini Hot Springs.

One of the few confirmed aquatic outsiders making their way into Yukon bodies of water are goldfish.

Apparently, parents unable to kill little Goldie have been releasing the fish in a pond at the Takhini Hot Springs.

Environment Yukon has had to net the fish. It’s also released predators to eat the goldfish. And its even released a fish toxin.

Still, the department continues to find goldfish at the site, said spokesperson Nancy Campbell.

While goldfish are not about to wreck havoc on chum salmon stocks any time soon, the department is bracing for a species that could make real headway.

The Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency is giving the department $30,000 to study the threat of aquatic invasive species.

There are introduced species – like goldfish, rainbow trout and arctic char – which have very limited ability to spread in the Yukon’s cold climate.

And there are invasive species that could hurt fisheries, tourism and the environment, said Nathan Millar, the program manager for Environment Yukon.

The department believes there are no invasive species in the Yukon, said Millar.

“We think that’s true but we’re also not 100 per cent sure about that,” he said.

“We don’t have extensive monitoring in place.”

Didymo, an algae, is in the Yukon, but biologists are not sure if it’s invasive or native.

The study will look for threats by looking at research from nearby jurisdictions, like Alaska, British Columbia and the Northwest Territories.

“It’s primarily a paper exercise,” he said.

Biologists want to know what creatures may come and what pathways might be used, said Millar.

Snakehead and whirling disease might be likely culprits, he said.

There’s also the dreaded zebra mussels, which have invaded lakes in Eastern Canada.

There’s a story going around town, that Millar can’t confirm, about a boat that passed through Yukon on its way to Alaska.

It was meant to be sold in the United States and it was stopped at the border.

The border guards, who are trained to find invasive species, found zebra mussels and turned it back.

“Apparently the guy came back to Whitehorse, washed his boat and went back to the border,” said Millar.

“So it’s not totally far-fetched to imagine invasive species coming here,” he said.

“On the other hand, we’re not sure the Yukon would be a good place for zebra mussels.”

The report should be done by the end of March, said Millar.

It will be contracted outside the department. (James Munson)

Just Posted

Yukon First Nations’ graduation regalia sought for upcoming exhibit

Curator Lisa Dewhurst is hoping to get at least two pieces from each Yukon First Nation

National signs honour victims of impaired driving

Yukon government says it would consider bringing the signs to the territory if approached

WYATT’S WORLD

Wyatt’s World

Local skiers compete in 2020 Yukon Cross Country Ski Championships

The event included dozens of racers competing in mass-start skate races

Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in to hold general election in April

On top of voting for chief, three councillors, citizens will vote for a deputy chief for first time

Yukon’s minimum wage set to increase by $1 to $13.71 in April

The increase will make the Yukon’s minimum wage the fourth-highest in the country

City news, briefly

Some of the decisions made at the Whitehorse council meeting on Feb 17

Yukonomist: Three questions on Yukon Zinc and China

The case heard recently in Yukon Supreme Court is particularly troubling

Commentary: Highway plans will negatively impact safety

The proposed Alaska Highway work will impact our safety, our communities and our environment.

Olivia Webster is the final musher to finish the Yukon Quest

‘I guess I’ve always been a grandpa’s girl and he’s my best friend, so I kind of wanted to be like him and so I did it’

Yukon’s Rob Cooke and company finish 10th in the 2020 Yukon Quest

Cooke and his 14 Siberians crossed the finish line at 9:07 a.m. on Feb. 15 in Whitehorse

Most Read