Archival Scale Collections and Genetic Techniques in Fisheries Management and Conservation

Tuesday, September 10, 2013: 8:40 AM
Pope (Statehouse Convention Center)
Wendylee Stott , USGS-Great Lakes Science Center, Ann Arbor, MI
Abstract: Fish scale archives can be used as a source of material for genetic analysis of historical samples.  Comparisons of present and past diversity can provide insight into current management concerns such as the impacts of over-fishing, habitat alteration, and climate change on fish populations.  The scale archives at the U.S. Geological Survey-Great Lakes Science Center have provided material for analysis of several Coregonus species in the Great Lakes that are of management concern.  Historical analysis of lake whitefish (C. clupeaformis) from Lake Huron and Lake Erie reveal changes in both genetic population boundaries and characteristics of populations.  Analysis of cisco (C. artedi) from Lake Erie collected in the 1920s before the cisco fishery collapsed provide insights into the potential resurgence of remnant stocks and may provide guidance for the selection of sources for hatchery broodstock if a stocking program is deemed necessary.  Comparisons of deepwater ciscoes that have disappeared from Lake Michigan provide information on the past population dynamics of the coregonid species flock and possibly insights into the dynamics of the collapse of the resource.  In all these examples, the benefits and challenges of scale archives are discussed.