Proposal To Remove Exotic Fish In Kelly, Wyoming

by | Aug 17, 2015 | Science | 0 comments

kellyKelly Warm Spring in Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming, has been an illegal dumping ground for non-native aquarium fish since the 1940’s. The non-native fish have become a threat to native species. Aquarium dumping is a widespread problem throughout all of the Unites States.  You can see goldfish, madtoms, and bullfrog tadpoles, non-native species that were dumped illegally, throughout the springs.

The exotic fish are capable of surviving in a variety of temperatures, and breed at a quick pace. The growth of the invasive species over the years has come at a detriment to the natural habitat. Park biologists, working together with the Wyoming Game and Fish Department biologists, have suggested removing the exotic fish by using rotenone,an EPA-approved piscicide. This is the preferred method of removal, since it is more effective than attempted net capture. Biologists believe this can be performed with minimal harm to the native plants and species, and the piscicide would not persist in the environment. The park would be closed to the public during treatment. Grand Teton National Park is currently seeking public review and comments on the proposal.

This story brings to light a reminder that aquarium owners need to be responsible when they make the decision to say good-bye to their fish. Releasing non-native species into natural habitats can have devastating effects for the wild. Although releasing an unwanted aquarium fish may seem preferable than the alternative, saving one fish at the risk of harming an entire species or ecosystem is not the answer.

  • Francis Yupangco

    Francis is a marine biologist with an MBA and over 20 years of professional aquarium experience. Francis is the former Aquatic Development Manager at Hagen USA., makers of Fluval brand aquarium products. He co-stars on Nat Geo WILD's reality TV series Fish Tank Kings where he is the resident "Fish Geek" and was Director of Marketing at Living Color Aquariums. He is an avid explorer having visited over 45 countries and lived in 7. At 17, he was among the youngest aquarists ever hired by the Vancouver Aquarium, where he worked for 7 years. His aquatic biology experience ranges from larval fish rearing to the design, construction and operational management of renowned public aquariums around the world. Francis is currently head of marketing at the world's largest vertically integrated fish farming company.


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