Gold fish in Cuddy Family Park have to go

ANCHORAGE (KTUU) - If you’ve been to Cuddy Family Park lately, you might have noticed a new addition to the pond…gold fish. The Alaska Department of Fish and Game can’t say exactly where the gold fish in Cuddy Family Pond came from, but the fish can’t stay.

Gold fish were illegally introduced in Cuddy Family Pond and now they've become an invasive species.

“That's the reality of these invasive species events is that these fish aren't going to be able to stay here,” says Kristine Dunker, Invasive Species Biologist with Alaska Fish and Game. “They have to be dispatched and that's what happens when these introductions occur.”

The fish were first noticed in May 2018 and Dunker estimates there are about 150 of them in the pond. They haven’t spotted any juvenile fish, but it appears the fish are capable of spawning.

“We have a sample that we've sent off to a pathology lab with Fish and Game to look for parasites or diseases these fish might be carrying,” says Dunker. “And so in doing that work they did find eggs in them so they are in spawning condition. Whether they're successfully spawning is another question.”

Part of the problem is the while Cuddy Family Pond looks like an isolated body of water, it’s actually a “day-lit” section of Fish Creek. Culverts should prevent adult fish from moving downstream.

“That's really one of the bigger problems with this situation. We don't want these fish getting out of here and spreading elsewhere,” says Dunker.

Dunker also wants it clear that the fish in Cuddy pond cannot be removed from the pond and taken anywhere live.

“Live transport of these fish is prohibited. That's strictly against Alaska's law,” says Dunker. “If you move these fish out of here, we can’t guarantee they're not going to another lake to cause another problem, another invasive species issue elsewhere. These fish have to be dispatched if they're caught here. It's not permissible to take them to your home aquarium or take them to a pond on your property.”

Alaska Fish and Game is working on plan to get rid of the fish from Cuddy Family Pond.

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