As part of our Eastern Lake Ontario Environmental DNA initiative, partners of the SLELO PRISM are utilizing underwater video technology not only as a hands-on citizen science tool but also to determine its practicality as an early detection tool. Over this past summer nine species of fish have been videotaped from four locations documenting at least one invasive species (Round Goby). Noteworthy is the capture
of two rather rare “native” species; the Bowfin (Amia calva), which is considered as primitive and the River Redhorse (Moxostoma carinatum). eDNA work has also captured a bulk of information on a total of eight native and non-native species including the common crayfish (Decapoda species).
The growing interest of public participation in scientific fieldwork includes citizen science and volunteer monitoring, in which members of the public engage in the process of scientific investigations, collecting data, and/or interpreting results. This type of organizational and citizen collaboration yields new knowledge by providing access to more and different observations and data than traditional scientific research. By utilizing volunteer citizen science teams as part of this project we intend to expand our geographic range for early detection of aquatic invasive species, engage new partnerships and demonstrate that new technologies can be effectively used in early detection efforts.