No, officials will not be adding goldfish to Taylor Creek.
It is never a good idea to add non-native fish to Lake Tahoe.
In 2013, researchers found a goldfish that came in at 1.5 feet long and 4.2 pounds in the Tahoe Keys. The goldfish likely found its way into the water when someone emptied their goldfish aquarium into the local water. Goldfish are invasive and wreak havoc on the natural ecosystem by preying on native fish or interfering with their food supplies. Researchers believe that the increase in goldfish can contribute to a decrease in lake clarity, as goldfish waste produces nutrients that feed algae, causing algal blooms.
Goldfish are not the only species of fish that have been introduced to Lake Tahoe. Surveys of streams in the Tahoe Basin have shown that brook trout, rainbow trout, brown bullhead and blue gill make up a large number of non-native fish in the lake.
The Kokanee Salmon that spawn up Taylor Creek are also non-native. They were accidentally introduced into Lake Tahoe in the 1940’s when a fish hatchery on the North Shore flooded into the Lake. Each October the Kokanee Salmon make their way back to Taylor Creek for spawning. Interestingly, the salmon return to Taylor Creek because the scent of it is imprinted on their senses. It is important to note that these fish are not invasive and actually provide benefits to the ecosystem and economy.
Rainbow trout, another non-native species, were introduced in Lake Tahoe in the 1940s and are responsible for the near extinction of the native Lahontan cutthroat trout. Rainbow trout even cracked the list of top 100 worst invasive species in the world. These fish dominate their habitat by displacing native trout and altering the invertebrate community. Rainbow trout can hybridize with other species of trout, leading to a different species of fish.