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

No vacancy: Whitehorse family spends five months seeking housing

‘I didn’t think it would be this hard’

Bedbug situation in Whitehorse building becoming intolerable, resident says

Gabriel Smarch said he’s been dealing with bedbugs since he moved into his apartment 15 years ago

Yukon government transfers responsibility for Native Language Centre to CYFN

‘At the end of the day the importance is that First Nations have control of the language’

New operator applies for licence at shuttered Whitehorse daycare

Application has listed a proposed program start date of Feb. 1.

The week in Yukon mining

Goldcorp re-submits Coffee plans, Mount Nansen sale looms, Kudz Ze Kayah comments open

Ice, ice, baby: scaling a frozen Yukon waterfall

‘There’s a really transformative affect with adventure’

Yukon history is picture post card perfect

The most interesting gift I received at Christmas this year was the… Continue reading

Contentious Whitehorse quarry proposal raises city hackles

‘We’ve had concerns from the get-go on this one’

Whitehorse time machine

Yukon’s capital added 10,000 people over the last three decades, no YESAB application needed

How to make sure your car starts in the cold

It’s about more than just making sure your plug works

Whitehorse fuel delivery company fined $1,100 for Rancheria crash

The Crown stayed two other charges against the company related to the Aug. 7, 2017, crash

Most Read