Using eDNA to document the distribution of Prussian carp in Alberta

Prussian carp is a recent invasive fish species to Alberta, now believed to be widely distributed in the Bow, Red Deer, and South Saskatchewan River drainages. Initial surveys suggest their population and range is expanding exponentially across the province; however, the degree to 2 which the range of Prussian carp has expanded remains unclear. In 2018, ACA used environmental DNA (eDNA) to determine the distribution of Prussian carp in Alberta. However, lab results from 15 of the 83 sites we sampled were inconclusive either due to sample contamination or inhibition. In the summer of 2019, we revisited these 15 sites to collect a second eDNA sample for lab analysis. Of the 15 sites retested for Prussian carp DNA signal, three sites tested positive while 11 tested negative; samples from one site in the Beaver River remained inhibited as in 2018. Positive signals for Prussian carp were detected in the South Saskatchewan, Red Deer, and Bow river systems but not from the North Saskatchewan River. These results align with currently known spatial distributions of Prussian carp in the province. Overall, our data indicates presence of Prussian carp in the Bow, Red Deer, Oldman, and South Saskatchewan River drainages but not in the Athabasca, Battle, Beaver, McLeod, Milk, North Saskatchewan, Peace, Pembina, or Smoky Rivers.


Alberta Environment and Parks, University of Alberta – Dr. Mark Poesch, Fisheries and Aquatic Conservation Lab

Annual Summaries

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Title Year Category
Using eDNA to document the distribution of Prussian carp in Alberta 2018-2019 1
Distribution of Prussian Carp 2019-2020 1
Using eDNA to Document the Distribution of Prussian Carp in Alberta 2020-2021 1