Rotenone Treatment

Rotenone is an odourless, colourless plant-based chemical compound commonly used to eliminate unwanted fish species in waterbodies. Rotenone only affects organisms that breathe oxygen underwater.

Rotenone and invasive fish management

The release of common aquarium plants and animals, like domestic goldfish, into Alberta waterbodies and storm water ponds has become a serious issue. If conditions are favourable, released aquarium plants and animals can become invasive to the waterbodies they enter, outcompeting and potentially spreading diseases and parasites to native species.

Rotenone has been used by the Alberta Government and partners to manage invasive goldfish populations occurring in Alberta’s waterways. Rotenone treatment is preferred due to the high likelihood of success in completely eliminating undesirable fish species from compromised waterbodies before such species have the ability to harm native fish populations and habitats.

Typical duration of rotenone treatments

Rotenone decomposes when exposed to sunlight and is usually active for six days in the environment. The rate of decomposition depends on factors such as temperature, water chemistry and sunlight.

Waters that have been treated with rotenone are typically safe within two weeks of treatment.

Learn more about rotenone use in Alberta

For more detailed information on the use of rotenone to manage invasive fish species in Alberta, see:

Related Information


Updated: Jun 13, 2017