Lacombe County asks province to consider project Prussian carp screening project for Gull Lake

Province suspended program to stabilize lake with river water because of invasive species fears

Lacombe County is asking Alberta Environment and Parks to take a look at an innovative project to protect Gull Lake from Prussian carp.

Last year, Alberta Environment suspended licences that allowed water to be pumped from rivers into Gull and Buffalo lakes as part of a long-running but infrequently used program to maintain water levels.

The department told Lacombe County that the pumping licences were suspended because carps “are known and continue to expand their range in the Red Deer River basin.”

Earlier this year, about 1,000 were found in the channel leading to the pumping station that feeds Gull Lake.

However, Gull Lake Watershed Society does not want to see lake stabilization stop. The lake level has already dropped significantly over many decades and suspending the pumping program could see it drop another metre, threatening fish and waterfowl habitats and recreation opportunities.

Society members appeared before council in January to pitch their case and ask for support for a proposal to use a filtering system that would screen out carp and their eggs before the pumped water hits the lakes.

Last week, council agreed to request that Alberta Environment investigate the filtering system — which involves filtering water through large fine mesh sacks.

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