People Are Just the Worst. And So Are Goldfish

Work in conservation for any length of time and you’ll gradually find yourself becoming a glum misanthropist. It might even have happened to me already. I just don’t know. Maybe it seeps out occasionally in this blog. Do flag it up if you spot it.

This week someone has decided in their infinite wisdom that what the ponds on the reserve really need is 150 goldfish of varying sizes dumped in them. Great. Fantastic. Thank you once again ‘the public’. You really are a bunch of unmitigated arseholes. If I find the person responsible, I’m going to make him eat every single one hundred and fifty of them.


They’re clearly orange

Why is this so bad? Well, firstly because the ponds on site are rather good for Great Crested Newts. With goldfish in this pond, we can pretty much wave them goodbye. They’ve also dumped them at just the point when they are about to spawn; you can see them getting frisky already*. The combination of this and the presence of Great Crested Newts makes me tentative about electro-fishing them out. That’s if we even had the money to. And the time.

But the worst part is that I just know if we don’t get them out sharpish, then the public – bless ’em – are going to get attached to them. They’re going to become a ‘feature’. People are going to start feeding them. Which is going to make it even worse for me when I come along and brutally euthanase the lot of them. Apparently a little calculated pescicide will make me the bad guy. Ludicrous.

So I’m open to suggestions. What’s the best way to get rid of these aquatic interlopers?

* I should also point out that it is completely illegal. But you knew that already.


3 thoughts on “People Are Just the Worst. And So Are Goldfish

  1. I get it on my patch as well. As well as the guerilla planters who have made any attempt to manage ecological restoration pointless.

    I have reluctantly concluded that people are such a big part of the ecosystem that I can’t ignore them. One of my regular dog walkers told me his dog had killed a “huge grass snake” today as if telling me made it easier for him to shift the responsibility. I’m not going to put up more nest boxes and I’ll only put ponds where people can’t bloody see them to get in and bugger around with them.

    I reckon you are stuck with a glorified fish tank and you can kiss good bye to the newt habitat. People will find out if you eradicate them and you will be the villain.

    Open a coconut shy and give them out in plastic bags to punters..


    • I know, the thing is I often think it’s the people who have ‘good intentions’ who do the most damage. Burned out motorbikes and fly-tips are pretty easily resolved, but these goldfish…that’s it for that pond now. I have ten other ponds on site though, so I don’t really feel that I can leave them there in case they ‘migrate’


  2. Pingback: The Power of a Strongly Worded Sign | adventures in conservation

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