Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Units Program: Wisconsin Fishery
Education, Research and Technical Assistance for Managing Our Natural Resources

Wisconsin Fishery Project

Developing a high-throughput SNP panel for walleye in Wisconsin and Minnesota

September 2017 - August 2019


Participating Agencies

  • Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources

Historically, stocking and management practices for walleye (Sander vitreus) have been based on estimates of spawning and recruitment success, which are typically informed by survey catch data. These management strategies are aimed at increasing the success of future recruitment by selectively protecting individuals belonging to life stages thought to play critical roles in reproductive success. Recruitment is more than a factor of just population size; it can be heavily influenced by genetic interactions within and among populations, with fitness being influenced by factors such as gene flow, genetic erosion, and outbreeding and inbreeding depression. Our research objective is to use restriction-site-associated DNA sequencing to genotype ~5,000 genetic markers in 20 populations of walleye from Wisconsin and Minnesota, from which, a panel of ~200 high quality SNP markers will be defined. Our SNP panel will allow for more cost and time effective stock evaluation and large-scale pedigree analysis, which will lead to more informed decision making and improved long-term management of inland walleye fisheries.