Assessing the spread and establishment of Prussian carp (Carassius gibelio) in northern Alberta
Prussian carp, invasive species, anthropogenic introduction, eDNA analysis, northern Alberta
The Prussian carp (Cassasius gibelio) is an exceptionally dangerous invasive freshwater fish species. Native to Asia and eastern Europe, it has come to dominate many freshwater bodies across Eurasia through anthropogenic activities, causing extensive ecological damage by outcompeting native taxa and degrading environmental conditions. Within the last two decades, the Prussian carp has been introduced into Alberta, and has since spread into the rivers and lakes of the province. To date, most research relating to Prussian carp in North America has focused exclusively on southern Alberta. My research project aimed to expand research into northern Alberta, specifically the Edmonton region, with the objective to determine if Prussian Carp have spread into northern Alberta. Twelve lakes and ponds in the Edmonton area were surveyed using an underwater drone to collect footage. Four of these sites were further subjected to eDNA analysis. The results of the drone footage picked up a mixture of native and invasive fish species, with two being positive for goldfish. The eDNA analysis picked up neither goldfish or Prussian carp DNA at any of the test sites, likely due to low eDNA concentrations. Overall, these results highlight the need for ecological management to mitigate the spread of invasive fish species in Alberta.
Presented on April 26, 2021 at Student Research Day held virtually at MacEwan University in Edmonton, Alberta.
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