22 Dec '11, 1pm

Green Blog: Trucking the Trout to Their Native Streams: About 50 adult fish along the Clark Fork River in Idaho

Fish and Wildlife Service Bull trout are genetically adapted to the habitat of particular streams. In an innovative conservation effort, biologists on the Clark Fork River are using genetic testing to help get bull trout back to their natal streams to spawn. Fulfilling a requirement for the relicensing of its two hydroelectric power plants on the river in Idaho and Montana, Avista Utilities is having the fin tissue of randomly caught adult bull trout “fingerprinted.” Juvenile fish in the natal streams are also sampled to determine whether they carry the DNA of the adults. The fish are caught by hook and line, or by electrofishing, a process that involves sending a mild electric current through the water to temporarily immobilize fish so they can be captured. A tiny fin portion is then clipped and sent to a Fish and Wildlife Service laboratory in Washington State. The trout...

Full article: http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/12/22/trucking-the-tr...

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