Goldfish go away!

Goldfish in Minnesota lakes

Goldfish have been making quite a stir recently, and not just in the news. This invasive species, alongside the related carp, stir up the bottom of lakes with their feeding habits. This creates cloudy water, and releases nutrients that can cause algae blooms. Because of these issues, lake management organizations across Minnesota are asking people not to release their pet fish or aquarium plants into the wild. Surrender them at a re-home event instead.

The Nine Mile Creek Watershed District is also undertaking fish studies in lakes in Edina and Bloomington to understand their populations better. In this Minnesota Bound episode (filmed in 2020) you can see the research team in action starting at around 1:20, as they collect information on goldfish in the Lake Cornelia system in Edina.

What is the District doing?

Image of a woman wearing waders with a cart filled with buckets and bags of corn
A volunteer with equipment for baiting goldfish nets

The Nine Mile Creek Watershed District is conducting ongoing studies and management efforts at Normandale Lake and the Lake Cornelia system for carp and goldfish. With the expertise of WSB, the District’s consultant, and the help of numerous volunteers, nets are set out in the lakes and baited with corn to attract carp and goldfish. The corn will teach the fish to group up in that area, allowing researchers to more accurately assess population numbers and remove carp and goldfish. This study is part of larger projects to improve the health of the lakes.

How can you help?

If you have unwanted aquarium fish or plants, never dump them in a lake, creek or pond! Always surrender them at a re-home event.

Additionally, the District needs volunteer help. Volunteers will bait fish nets with corn. The corn is designed to group up carp and goldfish in the area of the fish net. Once the fish are trained to group in the area, WSB will net and remove the carp or goldfish from the lake. A minimum of one week (Monday-Friday) commitment and approximately 5-10 hours per week is required to volunteer. Training and materials are provided. Contact Erica if you are interested in volunteering for a week this summer.

Watch this short video to learn more about baiting nets with corn for goldfish and carp removal, and how you can volunteer to help:

Learn more about District projects

Lake Cornelia & Lake Edina Improvement Project

Lake Cornelia fisheries assessment

Normandale Lake Improvement Project

More goldfish stories

Goldfish in Burnsville Lakes

Goldfish removal project in Grace chain of Lakes