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Recreational fishing in a lake in northwestern British Columbia is being shut down after the discovery of invasive goldfish.

The Ministry of Natural Resource Operations says Lost Lake, about 10 kilometres north of Terrace, will be closed until further notice starting Saturday in an effort to prevent the spread of the goldfish.

The government says in a news release that experts aren't certain how long the fish have been in the lake, but their multiple sizes indicate they are reproducing.

The introduction of the invasive fish has had destructive effects in other B.C. lakes in the past.

The ministry says biologists are completing assessments of the lake to determine the extent of the goldfish problem and treatment options in order to stop them from spreading into the Skeena watershed.

It's illegal to dump aquarium fish into local waterways and the ministry says the public should return any unwanted fish to pet stores rather than release them to the wild.

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