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


Ectoparasites of salmon using eDNA

May 2023 - August 2023


Participating Agencies

Ectoparasites on fish are a source of stress for individuals and may become more prevalent with climate change and associated water warming. However, the distribution of these parasites, such as copepod "sea lice", are largely unknown. This is especially the case in Alaskan waters, despite the economic and cultural importance of Pacific salmon. In cooperation with fish pathologists, physiologists, and veterinarians with the University of Alaska Fairbanks Museum of the North and the Colloredo State University Veterinary Science Summer Fellowship program, this project assesses the distribution of fish parasites and pathogens on museum reference specimens and seeks to demonstrate the effectiveness of eDNA as a monitoring tool for these organisms.