Evaluation of genetic population structure of smallmouth bass in the Susquehanna River basin, Pennsylvania

North American Journal of Fisheries Management
By: , and 

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Abstract

The Smallmouth Bass Micropterus dolomieu was introduced into the Susquehanna River basin, Pennsylvania, nearly 150 years ago. Since introduction, it has become an economically and ecologically important species that supports popular recreational fisheries. It is also one of the most abundant top predators in the system. Currently, there is no information on the level of genetic diversity or genetic structuring that may have occurred since introduction. An understanding of genetic diversity is important for the delineation of management units and investigation of gene flow at various management scales. The goals of this research were to investigate population genetic structure of Smallmouth Bass at sites within the Susquehanna River basin and to assess genetic differentiation relative to Smallmouth Bass at an out-of-basin site (Allegheny River, Pennsylvania) located within the species’ native range. During spring 2015, fin clips (n = 1,034) were collected from adults at 11 river sites and 13 tributary sites in the Susquehanna River basin and at one site on the Allegheny River. Fin clips were genotyped at 12 polymorphic microsatellite loci. Based on our results, adults sampled throughout the Susquehanna River basin did not represent separate genetic populations. There were only subtle differences in genetic diversity among sites (mean pairwise genetic differentiation index FST = 0.012), and there was an overall lack of population differentiation (K = 3 admixed populations). The greatest genetic differentiation was observed between fish collected from the out-of-basin site and those from the Susquehanna River basin sites. Knowledge that separate genetic populations of Smallmouth Bass do not exist in the Susquehanna River basin is valuable information for fisheries management in addition to providing baseline genetic data on an introduced sport fish population.

Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Evaluation of genetic population structure of smallmouth bass in the Susquehanna River basin, Pennsylvania
Series title North American Journal of Fisheries Management
DOI 10.1080/02755947.2017.1327902
Volume 37
Issue 4
Year Published 2017
Language English
Publisher Taylor & Francis
Contributing office(s) Coop Res Unit Leetown
Description 12 p.
First page 850
Last page 861
Country United States
State Pennsylvania
Other Geospatial Susquehanna River basin
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