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Wednesday, January 31 • 10:40am - 11:00am
FISH HABITAT & GENETICS: Using Genetic Tools to Inform Conservation of Wisconsin’s Native Brook Trout

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AUTHORS. Wes Larson, U.S. Geological Survey Wisconsin Cooperative Fishery Research Unit; Keith Turnquist, Wisconsin Cooperative Fishery Research Unit; Brad Erdman, University of Maine, School of Biology and Ecology; Matt Mitro, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources; Joanna Griffin, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources

ABSTRACT. Brook trout are an important native species in Wisconsin that provide numerous recreational fishing opportunities across the state. Stocking of brook trout has been occurring in Wisconsin since the 1800s, and many brook trout stocked in Wisconsin were derived from non-local sources or domesticated hatchery strains such as those developed in Nashua, New Hampshire. Here, we used genetic data from microsatellites to describe the population structure of brook trout across Wisconsin and identify populations with wild versus domestic genetic signatures. We found that many populations contained genetic signatures consistent with domestic strains, including some that had previously been identified as wild. One notable example of this was the Ash Creek population, which was thought to be wild and had been previously used as a broodstock source but was found to contain signatures of domestic populations. Information from this work as well as other ongoing genetics research will help to inform management of Wisconsin brook trout by helping to define genetic management units and facilitating the identification of suitable broodstock sources. In the future, we plan to use genetics to investigate the relationship between immune response genes and gill lice Salmincola edwardsii as well as determine the effectiveness of the current propagation program for maintaining genetic diversity.

Wednesday January 31, 2018 10:40am - 11:00am CST