State Clears Illegal Goldfish from Private Pond in Brownville 

The owners of a Brownville resort spent years developing their property, including putting a nicely landscaped pond out front for fire protection. But the folks at Wildwoods Trailside Cabins and Lodge didn’t realize that what they put into that pond would cause problems.Cheri Szidat and her husband, Paul, say they had no idea their goldfish pond was actually in violation of Maine law. They found out after an anonymous tip to a state hotline.”The wardens approached me in February and said there had been a report about goldfish, and asked if I had goldfish, and I said ‘Yes.’ And he asked where they are from and I told him they came from my hobby pond in Massachusetts. And then he advised me it was against the law to have goldfish here in Maine,” she says.Cheri, a gardener, says she was excited to bring her goldfish along for the pond when they moved here a few years ago to start the business. Their fish had even grown in number, to nine big ones and lots of little ones.”They’re my fish. My husband calls them Goldy, Finny and Flash,” she says. “I understand why they have to do what they’re doing. I just wish there was another method to do it.”Monday state officials returned to rid the pond of the fish.”The fisheries people are treating the water with a chemical, rotenone, and what it does is it kills off the fish,” says Game Warden Daniel Carroll.Carroll says introducing non-native species can cause permanent damage to an ecosystem.”There was concern that it would get down to the Schoodic Lake watershed,” he says. “Non-native species, they can take over entire bodies of water.” He tells us now they’re trying to educate more people.And while Cheri and Paul were quick to cooperate, they say it’s still sad for them after the work they’ve put into their pond.”It’s just a bummer for it to be five years and finally it’s clear, it smells good, it looks pretty and to have to start all over, it’s a bummer,” she says.Cheri hoped to save a few of the big goldfish to keep inside. She tells us she hopes others can learn from their mistake.