Seeley Swan Pathfinder -


By Ladd Knotek
Region 2 Fisheries Biologist 

What in the World are eDNA and Genetic Assignment? ... And Why Should Anglers Care?


September 14, 2017

Photo provided

Bull trout caught and released in Seeley Lake. Fish like this can be traced back to their tributary of origin (likely Morrell Creek) using genetic assignment to complement ongoing population monitoring efforts.

The number of new genetic analysis techniques is rapidly expanding and many provide biologists the opportunity to uncover new information about Montana's fisheries and invasive species that threaten them. Among these new techniques are genetic assignment and analysis of environmental DNA (eDNA); both of which have been applied in Clearwater Basin lakes and streams.

Environmental DNA (eDNA) simply refers to fragments of genetic material from different plants and animals that occur naturally in the environment. In the case of fish and other aquatic critters, DNA is contained in cells that are...

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