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Tracking Invasive Species

What is a Prussian Carp?


Prussian carp are a notably aggressive invasive species. Able to reproduce asexually several times per year, and live in low oxygen environments, this threat has been noted across south and central Alberta. Mainly identified by DNA sampling, the species was first noted in the wild in 2006. Due to its exponential reproduction and growing range, this fish is of increasing concern as it muscles out local species of fish and invertebrates.

How to Identify:

How to Prevent

  • Silvery-brown colour

  • Anal and dorsal fin rays strongly serrated

  • 37-53 gill rakers

  • Dorsal fin concave or straight

  • Lateral line has 29-33 scales 

  • Never release aquarium water or pets into water bodies

  • If caught while angling, it may be eaten or disposed of in the garbage

Download PDF: How to stop the spread of invasive species

Drone Pond.jpg

Underwater tools to track invasive species

As a member of the National Geographic’s Open Explorer program, we received a grant of an Open ROV Trident drone under the partnership of the S.E.E. Initiative.


With the fantastic underwater drone, the Aquatic Biosphere Project partnered with MacEwan University department of Biological Sciences to research Prussian Carp and invasive pet fish releases around the greater Edmonton Metro region.


While no carp were reported, researcher Heather Deptford did find evidence of goldfish and possibly an American Eel. 

The ROV was used to assist with providing video for the Alberta Underwater Council Kinsmen scuba practice night, helped record efforts cleaning up the bottom of Sylvan Lake, and provided an interesting attraction while the MacEwan University Scuba Club assisted in developing the training material for ROV pilots, and looked for evidence of surviving stocked trout in a fishing pond in Fort Saskatchewan after a devastating winter kill on behalf of the Alberta Conservation Association.

In 2020 the drone will once again be used for research for various projects. Its ease of use and versatility to fly through Alberta lakes make it a fantastic tool for research.

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