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Parentage-based Tagging: Reviewing the Implementation of a New Tool for an Old Problem

May 3, 2019


Parentage-based tagging (PBT), an innovative and large‐scale application of genetic parentage assignments, is transforming how fisheries managers determine the age and origin of sampled fish. PBT is an efficient alternative for mass tagging and has been widely implemented in the Pacific Northwest. While still an emerging technology, PBT is being used to provide information to managers in state, federal, and tribal agencies on the harvest, research, and conservation of Chinook Salmon Oncorhynchus tshawytscha and steelhead O. mykiss in this region. We review the development of PBT in the Pacific Northwest focusing on the technical and logistical challenges for implementing a regional PBT program. We also showcase recent results and review management efforts that made use of PBT-derived data.


Craig A. Steele, Maureen Hess, Shawn Narum, and Matthew Campbell


Steele, C.A., M. Hess, S. Narum, and M. Campbell. 2019. Parentage-based tagging: reviewing the implementation of a new tool for an old problem. Fisheries 44(9):412-422.  Online at



Report No.


Media Type

Journal Article