Puntledge summer Chinook parentage-based tagging study: Year 5
Genetic methods, known as parentage-based tagging, will be used to identify individual summer-run Chinook Salmon back to parental crosses (both in the hatchery and in the wild) to study the effects of parental Chinook return migration time and bacterial kidney disease (BKD) status on their progeny. The identification of individual fish to parents will enable an examination of the influences of both parental characteristics (migration timing, BKD infection load) and release group/strategy on survival in those programs and provide Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) guidance for the development of appropriate management actions focused on improving wild and hatchery summer Chinook productivity, and preserving the genetic integrity of the stock.
Update: 2,889 summer-run Chinook samples genotyped
Tissue sampling for this study began in 2013. In total, 2,889 samples were successfully genotyped. There was no significant effect (p > 0.05) of parental return time on progeny return time. The retention of eggs from Bacterial Kidney Disease (BKD) positive females for rearing will be an important factor contributing to the maintenance of genetic diversity in the hatchery population. Additional DNA sampling on 2019 returns may provide a more complete analysis for assessing heritability of run-timing, and improve understanding of the effects of parental Chinook return migration time and BKD status on their progeny. Aligns with the Puntledge River Watershed Action Plan as a Level 1 priority — “Research & Information Acquisition” action.
Final Report: Executive Summary
Genetic analysis methods were used in a multi-year study to identify individual Puntledge River summer-run Chinook salmon back to parental crosses (both those that were performed in the hatchery and those that occurred in the wild) to study the effects of parental Chinook return migration time and bacterial kidney disease (BKD) status on their progeny. The genetic analysis is known as ‘parentage-based tagging’ and allows identification of an individual offspring (at any age, including adults) to its parental pair, as long as both parents have been sampled and genotyped. The genotyping of parents and offspring were conducted with a set of fifteen microsatellite loci (genetic markers) that are analyzed in the Molecular Genetics lab (MGL) at the Pacific Biological Station. Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) considers the Puntledge River summer-run Chinook salmon a population of high conservation concern. This research will provide information on the most effective strategies to implement in re-establishing successful reproduction both in the hatchery and in the wild. This project is identified in the Puntledge River Watershed Action Plan (FWCP 2017) as a Level 1 priority “Research & Information Acquisition” action (Action Table short description PUN.RLR.RI.13.01 Conduct DNA analyses…Chinook & Steelhead-P1).
Click the provincial database link below to read the full final report for this project.