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Sproat Lake Koi

Have You Seen Sproat Lake Koi?

 

carp

If so, The Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations would like your help.

Koi are an ornamental variety of the Asian common carp and over the past several years these fish have been illegally introduced to numerous waterbodies on Vancouver Island including Sproat Lake. These carp can grow to 40 cm or more and live to 20 years or longer in quiet, warm, nutrient-rich lakes and soft bottomed streams and sloughs. And, because they can withstand a wide range of temperature and oxygen conditions, carp are well-equipped to take up residence here and become successful in new habitats. Once introduced into an area, carp can proliferate rapidly a single large female was once found with over 2 million eggs. Sproat Lake Koi eat a wide variety of aquatic plants and animals especially insects, worms and molluscs. As they feed, the koi uproot aquatic vegetation which disturbs sediment and increases turbidity resulting in the alteration of spawning and nursery habitat of native fish species including salmon and trout.

Ministry of Forests, Lands & Natural Resource Operations. Fish & Wildlife Branch 2013

How Can You Help with the problem of Koi in Sproat Lake?

Tell Us What You Know About Sproat Lake Koi

Carp are most conspicuous during spawning which occurs between mid-May and the end of June. During this period, various-sized groups of carp aggregate near shore and in shallow weedy areas around Weiner Bay and neighbouring areas. The fish generally occupy those same areas throughout the summer but are less obvious since they travel in smaller groups or pairs.

If you have any information about Sproat Lake koi, the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations would like to know. Your information will be used to better understand these fish so that, if possible, a control strategy can be designed. You can help by sending your information in an email, entitled: Sproat Lake Koi Sightings, to tracy.michalski@gov.bc.ca. In your email, please note:

  1. The location of your sighting.
  2. The number of fish seen.
  3. Theaveragesizeoffish.
  4. Thedate(s)yousawthefish.
  5. Your name and contact information.

Non-native fish such as koi and carp can reduce aquatic biodiversity, impact recreational and commercial fisheries, and cost British Columbians millions to eradicate, contain and control. For these reasons, moving any live fish without a permit is illegal and can lead to fines of up to $100,000. If you know of someone moving live fish, it is critical that you report their activities. To report a polluter, call the Conservation Officer 24 Hour Hotline at 1-877-952-RAPP (7277). Remember, it is illegal to possess live fish caught in a lake or stream, or to release any live fish into BC’s lakes or streams. Your help with this very serious issue will ensure that the lakes and streams on Vancouver Island are protected for native fish.

More Information

More information on carp biology and spread in the US:

http://nas.er.usgs.gov/queries/FactSheet.asp?speciesID=4

More information on the impacts of koi: (http://www.issg.org/database/species/ecology.asp?si=60&fr=1&sts=sss&lang=E N)
More information on how to help prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species: http://www.100thmeridian.org/

Ministry of Forests, Lands & Natural Resource Operations. Fish & Wildlife Branch 2013

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