ROCK SPRINGS — The Bitter Creek Bark Park Pond will be closed on Wednesday, September 28, so the pond can be chemically treated to eradicate the goldfish and any other non-native fish living in it.
According to a press release from the Rock Springs Park Department, the large dog park section will be closed for the day to eradicate the non-native fish in the pond through a chemical treatment.
While most of the park will only be closed for the day, the pond itself will be fenced off and remained closed until sometime next spring when the ice thaws. After the chemical treatment has been completed, the rest of the dog park will reopen on Thursday, September 29.
Back in June, Wyoming Game and Fish Regional Fisheries Biologist Jessica Lockwood informed residents on how the department was going to remove the goldfish from the dog park pond, which is located at 850 Center Street and is less than 100 yards from Bitter Creek. Lockwood said there were hundreds of goldfish in the pond that have been illegally introduced.
During that same meeting, Rock Springs Park Superintendent Mark Lyon said that while most of the goldfish are around 4 to 5 inches, some are around 8 inches or larger.
Rotenone will be the chemical used to treat the pond. According to Lockwood, Rotenone has been used for centuries by humans to harvest fish for consumption and to manipulate fish communities, she said. It’s also been used as an eradication tool in fisheries management since the 1930s.
During the application process, those using the chemical will be wearing personal protective gear. However once the chemical is mixed thoroughly, it would take a lot of exposure for someone to get sick, she said. After the pond has been treated, they will then collect the dead fish and properly dispose of them.
To learn more about why this is happening and the entire chemical process, click here.