You may have noticed a large number of goldfish or koi fish swimming along the storm drains in Drake Landing and Crystal Ridge, but seeing those exotic fish not in a Koi Pond is a dangerous risk for the environment.

Town of Okotoks Parks Manager Christa Michailuck says if residents are dumping aquariums into the ponds, you're causing more harm than good.

"Storm ponds are not intended to have fish in them at all," she says. "Although we have seen some small native minnows that likely come on the vegetation when the pond is first planted."

Michailuck says the koi or gold fish become a completely different fish in a new foreign environment.

"They are an invasive species those introduced from different parts of the world can have huge detrimental impacts the ecosystem and cause a huge expense to control," she says.

Michailuck says the ponds are contained for the time being, but if the fish ever found their way to a major artery of water, there could be a problem.

"The ponds do have overflows that connect to the local Sheep River," she says. "We don't want to be having non-native fish getting into our native fisheries in the Sheep River.

Michailuck says those that can't take care of their aquariums or koi ponds should put them up for sale online or give them to a pet store to sell them instead of dumping them into a storm pond.

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