An invasive species of fish found in Lake Diefenbaker a few years ago has made its way into Swift Current.

Environmental DNA of Prussian carp was found in sampling tests this past summer within city limits by the Swift Current Creek Watershed Stewarts. The discovery was made during July and August and comes after no presence was detected of the fish in June.

The SCCWS has spent the last two summers tracking Prussian Carp and their 2022 results at three sites all north of Swift Current turned up positive for the fish. They decided to expand their testing sites in 2023 to five locations, with three north of Swift Current, one in the city, and one south of Swift Current.

"We know that they're here," Kevin Steinley, the executive director of the SCCWS, said. "We know that they've moved, we know that they're within the city and gotten halfway through the city and the creek. It means that people need to be diligent to watch for their spread."

Prussian carp can spawn multiple times a year, unlike many other fish stuck in a seasonal cycle for reproduction. They're like the majority of other fish, when spawning, they travel upstream which Steinley believes is the reason the fish have now reached the Swift Current Creek.

The invasive species is tough to eradicate but if caught, it's best to dispose of them and report the encounter to the 24-hour toll-free TIPP line (1-800-667-7561)

"Not unless somebody wants to make it their life mission to pull them out of the creek," he said might be the only way to remove them locally. "We're just looking for people to be aware that they're in the creek and aware of the potential impacts to the aquatic ecosystem within the creek and other water bodies in the watershed."

One of Swift Current's oldest pieces of infrastructure, the Canadian Pacific Railway Dam in Riverside Park, could play a large factor in mitigating the Prussian carp from moving south of Swift Current towards Lac Pelletier and the Duncairn Reservoir.

"Unless we had some really high levels there, I don't think it would happen," he said. "They wouldn't be able to cross that barrier."

Weir 2The C.P.R. Dam was constructed in 1888 and is a staple inside Riverside Park

The SCCWS is planning further monitoring steps for the Swift Current Creek including keeping a close eye on the invasive species of fish. That includes more sampling and potentially expanding into fish counts.

"(We could) do some netting at some of these sites and actually catch fish," he said, "See what's there and verify these results. Look at the numbers and health of the different fish species that are in the creek."