Alberta Environment and Parks are warning of large numbers of Prussian Carp at Frank Lake near High River.

They recently released a video on the invasive species filmed at the lake, informing Albertans of the nature of the species, which are known to multiply rapidly, raising water levels and monopolizing food sources in doing so.

Volunteer caretaker at Frank Lake, Greg Wagner, first noticed the species had taken up residence there in 2019.

Given their increase in numbers since then, he says he doubts local fishing will have an impact on the population.

"They're such an overwhelming species, they come in and just take something over. I don't know how much of a dent fishermen are going to make out there. You can sit there and watch people removing five-gallon pails and picnic coolers full of the fish, and yet there are still tens, if not hundreds of thousands of fish below the sewage outfall.

Like all fish, Prussian Carp cannot be transported alive as per Alberta law, though Wagner says that rule is especially important given the impact the species has on bodies of water they're introduced to.

"They can live out of water for up to seven hours, and if they did find their way into another body of water, you could be putting in an invasive species where it wasn't intended. I know that Alberta Fish & Wildlife have video where they suspect that at least four lakes up in the Edmonton area had people introducing Prussian Carp so that they had this fish that they could harvest from the lakes."

Proper disposal is also emphasized in the Alberta Environment and Parks video, and with good reason, according to Wagner.

"There were thousands of dead fish strewn on the shoreline. People really should be disposing of them properly, not just disposing of them on the shoreline. That can bring in predators, it's also just an eyesore. I believe it's also part of fishing regulations, you're supposed to clean up your fish."

One concern that Wagner has is with the sewage outfall that feeds into the lake.

The outfall includes tertiary water from High River and the Cargill Plant, which he believes may be contaminating the fish, and could potentially be harmful to those consuming their catches.

As for how the species first entered the lake, Wagner says it's unknown.

He had theorized that the species had made its way into Frank Lake through a connection to the Little Bow River, though a local Fish & Wildlife officer had suggested that they aren't known to have a large population in the Little Bow.


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