Treatment to remove an illegally-stocked invasive fish species will close Boise's Redwood Park Pond beginning Wednesday, according to the Idaho Fish and Game Department. The pond will be shut down for about two weeks.
Fish and Game staff will treat the west Boise pond with a fish toxicant to eradicate rosy red shiner -- a minnow species from the Midwestern U.S. and a popular aquarium trade fish.
“During the half-day treatment and for fourteen days thereafter, Redwood Pond will be closed to public use,” said Fish and Game spokesman Evin Oneale.
Rosy red shiner are not known to occur anywhere else in Idaho and Fish and Game staffers say they would like to keep it that way. "We've seen firsthand the negative impacts illegally-introduced fish species can have on our native and sportfish species," Fish and Game fisheries manager Joe Kozfkay noted. "We don't want to take the risk of this species getting into other Idaho waters."
Redwood Pond will be treated with rotenone, a naturally-occurring substance that inhibits oxygen flow in fish. All dead fish will be collected and placed in the landfill.
“Any remaining rotenone should dissipate quickly as sunlight degrades rotenone in a matter of days to a few weeks. Fish and Game staff will restock Redwood Pond next spring with bluegill and largemouth bass,” Oneale explained.
“The project is both expensive and time-consuming and serves as a reminder to aquarium fish owners to be responsible and never dispose of aquarium fish in local waters,” he added.
Unwanted aquarium fish should be returned to a pet store, given to a responsible aquarium owner, or as a last resort, euthanized in a humane manner, he said.