Sport fish biologists with the Alaska Department of Fish and Game added the fish pesticide called rotenone to the man-made pond at Cuddy Family Midtown Park on Wednesday morning in an effort to eradicate the illegally introduced goldfish population.
Rotenone binds to the gills of fish and keeps the fish from absorbing oxygen. It’s a plant-based pesticide that is lethal to fish but is safe for organisms without gills at treatment levels.
Fish and Game estimates there are about 150 goldfish in Cuddy Pond.
As biologists scooped up the goldfish that surfaced Wednesday, they noticed hundreds of tiny goldfish, most likely a result of the spawning behavior they observed in the spring.
According to Fish and Game, the waters of Fish Creek have been temporarily diverted around Cuddy Pond, causing the pond to be isolated from Fish Creek.
The rotenone naturally breaks down from exposure to sunlight and is expected to fully degrade in about 10 days. Signs are posted around the pond asking people to stay out of the water during the treatment.