Brook trout are either extirpated or greatly reduced in many rivers and streams throughout the eastern United States. We assessed genetic diversity in brook trout populations in northwestern Pennsylvania and western New York. As expected, we found diversity correlated to habitat connectivity between populations, and population isolation. We also evaluated and found no gene introgression with hatchery fish stocked over 20 years ago. This research is informing Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission and New York State Department of Environmental Conservation decisions on restoring habitat for brook trout, including prioritizing barriers to remove or replace. We also are conducting annual brook trout population assessments on several streams to understand long-term trends, and how these trends are influenced by abundance of brook trout, streamflow, water quality, and temperature, and co-occurrence of non-native trout species. 

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Juvenile Northern Pike in aquarium at Gavins Point National Fish Hatchery, South Dakota
The Fish and Aquatic Conservation program leads aquatic conservation efforts for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. We are committed to tackling the nation’s highest priority aquatic conservation and recreational challenges to conserve, restore, and enhance fisheries for future generations.


A cisco fish with coloring dusky gray to bluish on the back, silvery on the sides, and white on the underside being held laying on its side across two hands.
The Northeast Fishery Center (Center), located in Lamar, PA includes the Lamar Fish Health Center and the Lamar National Fish Hatchery and Fish Technology Center. We help guide and conduct the science and technology needed to restore and conserve species and their habitats. Our research helps...