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Monday, January 25 • 2:00pm - 2:20pm
Spatial and Temporal Genetic Analysis of Walleye Sander Vitreus in the Ohio River

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AUTHORS: Kevin Page*, ODNR Division of Wildlife; Richard Zweifel, ODNR Division of Wildlife; Wendylee Stott, Great Lakes Science Center

ABSTRACT: Previous genetic analyses have shown that walleye in the upper Ohio River (OR) are comprised of two distinct genetic strains, walleye of Great Lakes (GL) origin stocked into the OR basin and a putative remnant strain native to the OR and its tributaries. Resource agencies are developing management strategies that conserve and restore the native OR strain within upper reaches of the OR. However, it is unknown how intra-specific hybridization between strains has impacted genetic integrity of the OR strain. To better understand the extent and effects of hybridization on the native OR strain, we used mtDNA and microsatellite markers to evaluated the spatial (river pools) and temporal (pre- and post-stocking) genetic diversity of OR walleye. Contemporary Lake Erie walleye and archival OR basin museum specimens were used for comparison to contemporary OR walleye. While there was evidence of hybridization between strains, most genetic diversity within the OR was partitioned by basin of origin (GL vs. OR), with greater similarity among river pools than between strains within the same pool. Results also suggested the OR strain has diverged from historical OR populations. Further, decreased allelic richness and increased relatedness among OR strain walleye within one section of the OR may be related to stocking aimed at restoration of the OR strain. Our results suggest that although the OR strain persists, it has diverged over time and that current management practices may further impact genetic diversity of native strains.

Monday January 25, 2016 2:00pm - 2:20pm EST