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Pet goldfish causing huge grief for the City of Red Deer

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Photo from “Why you should never put a goldfish in a park pond”

From The City of Red Deer

City to remove goldfish from Anders pond

An invasive goldfish population has been identified in the Anders storm pond, and will be removed from the pond in the coming weeks.

Invasive non-native fish species pose a threat to the natural aquatic ecosystems and native species in the Red Deer River. The goldfish population will be removed in order to protect our native aquatic species and ecosystems, and to ensure the goldfish do not enter the storm system or the Red Deer River.

The Fisheries Act specifies that actions must be taken to remove non-native fish species, including goldfish, from natural and artificial waterbodies due to potential risks to native species and their habitat. These risks include:

  •   Competition with native species for habitat and resources
  •   Increased turbidity caused by goldfish stirs up sediments and nutrients, leading toincreased algae and plants
  •   Introduced diseases/parasites
  •   Reduction in biodiversity“Removing invasive species will help to ensure that we maintain the aquatic health of our storm water system and local waterways” said Tim Ainscough, Environmental Services Manager. “The Anders pond connects directly to our storm water system and to the Red Deer River. Anything that is dumped in local storm ponds or storm drains will flow directly into our storm water system and into the Red Deer River.”The goldfish removal process is expected to take approximately six weeks and is scheduled for September 9 to October 21, 2019.

    In keeping with the Fisheries (Alberta) Act, and based on best practices from other communities, The City will use a treatment called Rotenone to remove the goldfish. This task includes:

     Closing and fencing off the Anders pond and surrounding area for the protection of residents, pets, and wildlife.

     Applying/spraying the Rotenone solution to the pond and surrounding area.
     Collecting and removing the fish carcasses from the pond.
     Ensuring all safe handling procedures are adhered to, according to federal and

    provincial regulations.

    The pond will be fenced off for the duration of the process, but local trails will remain open. For your safety, please follow posted rules and ensure children and pets are kept outside of all fenced areas for the duration of the project.

    Goldfish should never be dumped into local water bodies, into storm drains or flushed down a toilet. Consider re-homing your fish if you cannot take care of them, and if your pet first passes away, bury the carcass instead of flushing or dumping it, to avoid the spread of harmful bacteria.

Backrounder

Anders storm pond maintenance – goldfish removal

Environmental Services is undertaking a project to remove non-native fish species (goldfish) from Anders stormwater management pond.

  1. Why is The City undertaking this project?The Anders pond was found to have a high population of goldfish, which are a non-native fish species that pose risks to native species and their habitat. The pond is a stormwater pond and connects to the City’s stormwater management system and the Red Deer River.The Fisheries Act specifies that actions must be taken to remove non-native fish species, including goldfish, from natural and artificial waterbodies, including stormwater management facilities, due to potential risks to native species and their habitat. These risks include:
    •   Competition with native species for habitat and resources
    •   Increased turbidity caused by goldfish stirs up sediments and nutrients, leading toincreased algae and plants
    •   Introduced diseases/parasites
    •   Reduction in biodiversity
  2. Why are there goldfish in Anders pond? How did they get there?We cannot say for certain how Anders pond became populated with goldfish, but it is most likely due to residents placing unwanted goldfish or aquarium species in the pond or elsewhere in the stormwater system.
  3. How will the goldfish be removed?Based on best practices from other communities and approval through Alberta Environment & Parks, The City will use a treatment called Rotenone to remove the goldfish. An experienced contractor has been hired to complete this work, which includes:
    •   Applying/spraying the Rotenone solution to the pond.
    •   Collecting and removing the fish carcasses from the pond.
    •   Ensuring all safe handling procedures are adhered to, according to federal and provincialregulations.
  4. What is Rotenone?Rotenone is an organic compound derived from plants which has been used successfully in other municipalities to remove non-native fish species like goldfish from stormwater ponds and other localized bodies of water.
  5. Is Rotenone harmful to people or pets?No, Rotenone is a target-specific, fish toxicant. The solution is highly toxic to fish (all species) and low to moderately toxic to birds, mammals, amphibians, and invertebrates. However, the concentration of Rotenone required to treat the invasive species in Anders Pond is lower than that which would cause harm to terrestrial species (land animals). In addition, we will be taking several precautions to ensure the safety of people, pets, and other wildlife, including:
    •   Installing fencing around the pond for the duration of treatment.
    •   Completing the treatment during the fall when amphibians have passed the larval stage.
    •   Completing the treatment outside the breeding/nesting bird activity period.

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Q&A BACKGROUNDER

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  1. If the chemical isn’t harmful to people, why are staff members wearing safety gear?Staff members wear safety equipment as a precaution while handling the concentrated formula. During application, there is a chance some of the product could become airborne, which poses a larger risk of exposure to staff handling the concentrated solution. Fences will be in place around the pond to ensure the public remain at a safe distance. Once applied to the water, the Rotenone is diluted and poses a low risk to people.
  2. Does Rotenone affect all aquatic animals the same?No, fish are more susceptible. All animals have natural enzymes in the digestive tract that neutralize Rotenone. However, fish and some forms of amphibians and aquatic invertebrates are more susceptible because they are gill-breathing animals, and thus, the digestive enzymes cannot neutralize Rotenone. Although some organisms like aquatic insects are susceptible to Rotenone, studies have shown that these organisms can quickly repopulate an area after treatment.
  3. What if animals eat dead goldfish or the drink treated water?Birds and other animals have natural enzymes in their digestive tract that neutralize Rotenone and so they would not be at risk if they ate a dead goldfish or drank treated water. Based on the concentration of Rotenone used, animals would need to eat or drink extreme amounts before ingesting lethal amounts of the chemical. For example, a bird weighing one-quarter pound would have to consume 100 quarts (95 litres) of treated water or more than 40 pounds of fish and invertebrates within a 24 hour period to receive a lethal dose. This same bird would normally consume 0.2 ounces (6 millilitres) of water and 0.32 ounces (9 grams) of food daily.
  4. Will the Rotenone cause lasting effects in the pond after treatment?No. Sunlight causes Rotenone to naturally photodegrade, so the pond will return to normal in a short period of time. It takes approximately two weeks for the Rotenone to degrade to non-toxic levels. Should the need arise, staff could deactivate the Rotenone using potassium permanganate.

10. How long will this work take?

Two applications of Rotenone are required, and each application will take approximately one day. The two applications will be spaced about three weeks apart to ensure no goldfish in the egg stage at the time of the first treatment are missed (eggs are not susceptible to Rotenone). For several days after each treatment fish carcasses will be collected by contractor and City staff.

11. Will Anders pond be closed?

We will be fencing off the Anders pond for approximately six weeks to ensure time for two applications and to allow the Rotenone to degrade after treatment. The park and walking path will still be accessible, but the water will not be.

12. I live in the area. What should I expect?

Residents who live in the area or frequent the pond can expect the following:

  •   The Anders pond will be closed and fenced off for approximately six weeks during treatment.
  •   The park and walking path will remain open.
  •   Residents and visitors may notice a minor odour for up to one to two days after treatment.
  •   Residents and visitors may notice a temporary water discoloration in the pond.
  •   There will be an active working site for several weeks, including staff in safety gear (suits,masks, gloves, etc.)

After 15 years as a TV reporter with Global and CBC and as news director of RDTV in Red Deer, Duane set out on his own 2008 as a visual storyteller. During this period, he became fascinated with a burgeoning online world and how it could better serve local communities. This fascination led to Todayville, launched in 2016.

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Addictions

City Council decides to close Red Deer’s Overdose Prevention Site

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City Council requests the Province of Alberta make changes to OPS in Red Deer

City Council made decisions (Friday) related to Red Deer’s Overdose Prevention Site (OPS), requesting the Government of Alberta (GOA):

  • formalize an orderly transition of the existing OPS out of Red Deer by the end of 2025;
  • provide in its place greater harm reducing options within our community that focus on health, wellness, and recovery, including more detox capacity, medication-assisted treatment (MAT), recovery coaches, counsellors, and culturally appropriate health and wellness supports, etc.;
  • provide dedicated grant funding to provide a continuous police presence/enforcement in the immediate vicinity of the OPS and temporary shelter, until the crime and social disorder impacts associated with these provincial services are better mitigated for the safety and security of our public;
  • substantially increase front-line supports for mental health and addictions within our community/region to better address the root causes leading to drug and alcohol addictions.

These decisions stem from a Notice of Motion put forward by Councillor Higham on December 18, 2023. After being read into the record on January 22, 2024, a non-statutory public hearing was scheduled for yesterday, February 15, 2024. Approximately 40 members of the public attended the non-statutory public hearing, with approximately 30 individuals speaking to the Notice of Motion, sharing their thoughts on the issue.

After hearing from the public yesterday, City Council debated the motion today, with Mayor Ken Johnston now having City Council direction to take the issue forward to the province and proceed with advocacy efforts.

“The public hearing and the debate of this motion were harrowing and emotional experiences for everyone. Each of us have been touched in some way by addiction; we heard that very clearly, and I am no exception. We heard heartfelt testimony from many members of our community, citizens, some who use the OPS, some who are service providers in the community, business owners, doctors, family members that have lost loves ones, and more,” said Mayor Johnston. “Council approached this most sensitive of issues with open minds, open ears, and open hearts. We are trying to improve lives for those suffering from addiction. This is a complex challenge, as these are areas where municipalities do not have jurisdiction. What we know is that Red Deer needs robust support from the provincial government for people with addictions; we need support for our community that is grappling with the fallout of addictions; and we need that support in the most immediate way.”

Mayor Johnston added, “Following this meeting, I will reach out to the Ministry of Addictions and Mental Health to book meetings where we can discuss how to move forward in the best interest of our city.”

Currently the OPS is located 5246 53 Avenue in downtown Red Deer.

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City of Red Deer

City Council approves E-scooters permanently after 3 year pilot

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E-Scooter Pilot Program update

  • Council approved E-scooters as a permanent transportation option in Red Deer, following a three-season pilot program that ended in October. No changes to the program were proposed, as bylaw amendments to the Business Licence Bylaw and Traffic Bylaw were completed as part of the pilot program.
  • Benefits to allowing E-scooter companies to operate in Red Deer include alignment with City of Red Deer strategies such as the Multimodal Transportation Plan and all three focus areas of City Council’s current Strategic Plan – Thriving City, Community Health and Wellbeing, and Engaged and Connected City.
  • In 2023, 100,909 rides were taken on E-scooters. The average distance traveled per ride was 3.35 km and the average ride time was 18.2 minutes. Riders are required to be a minimum of 16 years old and are advised to wear a helmet.
  • The 2024 E-scooter season begins March 15. Learn more: reddeer.ca/escooters

How does it work?

Similar to car and bike sharing technology, shared e-scooters will be GPS-enabled and can be rented using each company’s smartphone app. A shared e-scooter can be parked in a designated drop zone that is not impeding pedestrian traffic. It is then available for the next customer, who will be able to locate it and begin the rental using an application on their phone.​​​​

How old do I need to be to ride an e-scooter?

To ride an e-scooter in Red Deer you must be 16 years of age or older. A child or any other person cannot be a passenger on a shared e-scooter. They are intended for one rider.

Do I need to wear a helmet while riding an e-scooter?

Helmets are not required, but are strongly encouraged.

What is the speed limit for e-scooters?

The max speed limit is 20 km per hour with some higher traffic areas reduced to 5-10 km per hour.

How will I be able to park an e-scooter?

E-Scooters can be parked on city sidewalks, in City parks and adjacent pathways, subject to all Federal, Provincial and City Legislation. All parked e-scooters must remain in an upright position with all wheels in contact with the ground.

E-Scooters will be parked in a Furniture Zone and must not be parked in a way that does not obstruct or interfere with the Sidewalk Zone or Edge Zone at any time.

In the absence of a Furniture Zone, e-scooters must not be parked in a way that impedes pedestrians moving through the Sidewalk Zone to access any buildings. E-scooters must be parked next to the edge zone leaving at least 2.0 metres of sidewalk zone unobstructed for pedestrian movements. E-scooters must not be parked where these minimum distance requirements cannot be met, and parked in the upright, standing position, with all wheels in contact with the ground.

Tips for rider safety

  • Pedestrians first– Always yield to, and be mindful of people walking on sidewalks.
  • Be considerate– Use the bell to alert others when passing on the sidewalk or pathway.
  • Rider safety rules – Shared e-scooters are available to riders aged 16+. Helmets are encouraged but not required. Maximum speed limit is 20 km / hr. Only one rider per e-scooter is allowed.
  • Park responsibly– Park in a secure, upright position in designated areas, such as furniture zones of sidewalks, public bike racks and other marked parking zones. On sidewalks without furniture zones, give at least two meters of clearance for accessibility.
  • Right and report– If you see a shared e-scooter toppled over or parked improperly, help out by righting the shared e-scooter or reporting the issue. Contact info for each company is provided on each shared e-scooter.
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