The Province is warning people to not release aquarium fish into streams, rivers, or lakes after an invasive species was found breeding east of Prince George.

Rosy Red Minnows were found in a stream which flows into a tributary of the Fraser River. They are commonly sold in pet stores as feeder fish but are not native to northern BC.

Invasive fish species can severely impact other aquatic species and have potential ecological impacts. They are a major threat to BC’s freshwater fisheries through the effects of competition, predation, parasites, and disease.

This is the first reported incident in the Omineca region. Staff with the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations, and Rural Development are actively developing options to manage the situation, however, it can be difficult and expensive to remove invasive species once established.

Releasing aquarium fish into local natural waterways is illegal. The Ministry asks anyone with unwanted fish to return them to pet stores rather than release them into the wild.