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Wednesday, January 31 • 11:00am - 11:20am
FISH HABITAT & GENETICS: Genetic Connectivity of Seven Fish Species Sampled Above and Below the Prairie Du Sac Dam on the Lower Wisconsin River

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AUTHORS. Jenna Ruzich, Wisconsin Cooperative Fishery Research Unit-University of Wisconsin Stevens Point; Keith Turnquist, Wisconsin Cooperative Fishery Research Unit-University of Wisconsin Stevens Point; Nathan Nye, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources; David Rowe, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources; Wes Larson, U.S. Geological Survey-Wisconsin Cooperative Fishery Research Unit

ABSTRACT. The Prairie du Sac dam is the first upstream barrier on the Wisconsin River above confluence with the Mississippi River. Some downstream fish movement at Prairie du Sac is possible, however, reductions in connectivity caused by this artificial barrier could influence the genetic diversity of isolated subpopulations and reduce their ability to adapt to selective pressures. The objectives of our project were to determine if (1) genetic structure existed among populations and (2) if differences in diversity measures existed between populations of fish found above and below the Prairie du Sac dam. We analyzed seven fish species with varying life history traits and generation times: Lake Sturgeon, Walleye, Sauger, Smallmouth Bass, Flathead Catfish, Shorthead Redhorse, and Quillback Carpsucker. Sampling occurred over two years, and fifty samples above and below the dam were collected for each species in each year (1,400 samples total). Genetic analyses including diversity (heterozygosity and number of alleles), population structure, effective population size, allelic richness, FIS, source of variation (AMOVA), and power analysis, were conducted and evaluated for each species using a minimum of eight microsatellites. Our results revealed very low values of population structure (FST = 0 – 0.007) between subpopulations for all species. Our results also indicated very small differences in genetic diversity between populations found above and below the Prairie du Sac dam. Most of the genetic variation was found among sampling years within individual populations. Simulations were also run to determine how many generations it could take for subpopulations of species to become more differentiated based on various levels of migration. The results of this project will provide resource managers with baseline genetic information that can be used to develop management strategies, such as fish passage, that will preserve the genetic integrity of populations within the Wisconsin River.

Wednesday January 31, 2018 11:00am - 11:20am CST