Fishing guides at Nimmo Bay Resort, Blackfish Lodge and others are catching wild pacific salmon once they have migrated into the rivers to spawn. Our sampling areas of interest includes the Broughton Archipelago and the Southern Great Bear Rain forest.
All fishing activities are catch and release. When the guides are releasing the fish they take a small hand hole punch and clip a crescent of tissue from the adipose fin.
The fin clip is placed on a sheet of Whatman paper, which drys and preserves the sample, and is then stored for later processing.
The molecular genetics lab at the Pacific Biological Station is processing our samples to build on the current genetic database used to identify salmon from specific river systems. Using genetic markers known as Microsatellites and single nucleotide polymorphisims (SNP) a library of diversity within each river or region is built up for each species of salmon. The molecular genetic techniques used include a process called polymerase chain reaction (PCR) which allows very small amounts of tissue, like our fin clips, to provide large amounts of genetic information.