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Monitoring Salmonid Hatchery Stocks with Parentage Based Tagging Technology in the Columbia River Basin

May 4, 2018


Parentage-based tagging (PBT) is a large-scale tagging technology for monitoring and evaluating salmonid hatchery stocks. Implementation of PBT involves annual sampling of hatchery broodstock to create a parental genotype baseline. Offspring produced by these parents can be non-lethally sampled either as juveniles or adults, and then genotyped to be assigned back to their parents – thus identifying their age and hatchery of origin. A large-scale demonstration of PBT is currently being applied to Chinook salmon and steelhead hatcheries in the Snake River basin, Idaho (2008-present), and efforts to expand annual tissue collection to Chinook salmon, steelhead, and Coho salmon hatcheries above Bonneville Dam began in 2012. Applications using the PBT baseline have only recently begun as the time it takes for ‘tagged’ offspring to return to the basin is ~2-5 years after broodstock (i.e., parents) are spawned annually. Thus far, PBT has been applied for: characterization of stock composition in fisheries, estimation of stock-specific abundance and run-timing at dams, identification of physically unmarked hatchery fish, estimation of proportion of hatchery fish on spawning grounds, and identification of stocks using thermal refugia during migration. Adopting PBT more broadly in the Columbia River basin would allow the ability to track millions of hatchery fish and the opportunity to address a variety of parentage-based research and management questions.


Maureen Hess, Daniel Hasselman, Stephanie Harmon, Craig Steele, Matthew Campbell, and Shawn Narum


Hess, M.A., D.J. Hasselman, S.A. Harmon, C.A. Steele, M.R. Campbell, and S.R. Narum. 2016. Monitoring salmonid hatchery stocks with parentage based tagging technology in the Columbia River Basin. Northwest Fish Culture Conference, December 6-8, 2016. Grand Mound, WA.



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