February is the perfect time of year to plan for your new garden pond. While koi and goldfish are beautiful additions to an outdoor pond, be sure you take the necessary steps to contain them so they don’t escape into surrounding lakes or streams.
The Problem with Invasive Species
Invasive species like koi and goldfish can have devastating effects on our local ecosystems. They can out-compete native species for food or habitat, cause physical damage by eating plants or uproot vegetation, alter water quality, and spread diseases. If these invasive species get into waterways outside of your garden pond, they can quickly reproduce and spread further downstream – leading to major consequences for our local biodiversity. Goldfish have been spotted recently under the ice at Munson Pond in Kelowna, so it’s proof that they are very hardy and can survive the Okanagan winters.
What Should I Do?
If you are thinking about installing a garden pond that will include fish like koi or goldfish, it is important that you take certain steps to ensure that these species cannot escape into other waterways. Don’t build your pond with direct contact to neighbouring streams where they may escape. Isolate your pond in the centre of your landscape design. Create a barrier such as a liner around your pond so that the fish cannot escape into surrounding lakes or streams; this will also help protect against predators from entering your pond as well. Be sure to maintain your barrier regularly so that it remains secure over time.
When planning your garden pond this February, don’t forget that if you plan on including koi or goldfish in your design, it is essential to ensure they stay contained within their space so they do not become an invasive species in our local waterways or ponds such as Yellow Lake, and never set your goldfish free into the wild. With careful research and thoughtful design implementation, everyone can enjoy their new garden ponds responsibly!