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Diversity 2014, 6(2), 354-379; doi:10.3390/d6020354

Maintenance of Genetic Diversity in Natural Spawning of Captively-Reared Endangered Sockeye Salmon, Oncorhynchus nerka

Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Pacific Biological Station, 3190 Hammond Bay Road, Nanaimo, BC V9T 6N7, Canada
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Received: 13 January 2014 / Revised: 3 June 2014 / Accepted: 3 June 2014 / Published: 19 June 2014
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Use of Molecular Markers in Genetic Diversity Research)
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Abstract

Captive propagation of Pacific salmon is routine, but few captive breeding programs have been conducted to successfully re-establish extirpated wild populations. A captive breeding program for endangered Sakinaw Lake sockeye salmon was established from 84 adults between 2002 and 2005, just prior to extirpation of the wild population. After several years of absence, sockeye salmon released from captivity returned to spawn in Sakinaw Lake in 2010 and in all years thereafter. Freshwater survival rates of released hatchery fry and naturally produced progeny of reintroduced sockeye salmon have not limited abundance of the reintroduced population. In contrast, marine survival rates for Sakinaw sockeye salmon have been <1%, a level that precludes population restoration in the absence of supplementation. Genetic diversity commensurate with the number of parental founders has been maintained in captivity. The 517 adult second-generation captive fish that spawned in Sakinaw Lake in 2011 produced a smolt emigration of almost 28,000 juvenile fish with an effective population size of 132. Allelic richness and gene diversity levels in the smolts were similar to those observed in captivity. This indicates genetic contributions from all or most founding parents have been retained both in captivity and in the nascent reintroduced natural population. View Full-Text
Keywords: sockeye salmon; captive breeding; survival; reintroduction; genetic diversity sockeye salmon; captive breeding; survival; reintroduction; genetic diversity
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MDPI and ACS Style

Withler, R.E.; O'Brien, D.S.; Watson, N.M.; Supernault, K.J. Maintenance of Genetic Diversity in Natural Spawning of Captively-Reared Endangered Sockeye Salmon, Oncorhynchus nerka. Diversity 2014, 6, 354-379.

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