Genetic assessment of Inconnu (Stenodus leucichthys) in Great Slave Lake, Northwest Territories

Regions: South Slave Region

Tags: biology, fish, genetics, traditional knowledge, spawning areas, inconnu

Principal Investigator: Tallman, Ross F (5)
Licence Number: 16179
Organization: Fisheries and Oceans Canada
Licenced Year(s): 2017
Issued: Sep 27, 2017
Project Team: Lauren Wiens (Master's Student, University of Manitoba), Muhammad Yamin Janjua (Research Biologist , Fisheries and Oceans Canada), Brendan Malley ( Master's Student , University of Manitoba)

Objective(s): To use inconnu genetic samples to differentiate the inconnu populations residing in Great Slave Lake.

Project Description: The objective is to use Inconnu genetic samples to differentiate the inconnu populations residing in Great Slave Lake. If inconnu are philopatric (return to their natal spawning grounds) than each river should consist of a genetically distinct population.

Methods include using gill nets to capture between 30 to 50 Inconnu per location (along Buffalo River, Buffalo Lake and Taltson River). Nets will be set for the amount of time it will take to catch the minimum amount of fish required. Fish will be sampled for genetic samples along with weight, length, maturity, muscle samples and otoliths.

Traditional Knowledge survey will be conducted with the help from local youth interviewing the elders in the community. Recruitment will be based upon meetings and referrals from the local First Nations office. Interviews will be approximately one to two hours in duration. The questionnaire will include questions on the history and current knowledge of inconnu biology, ecology, spawning and migration habits in Great Slave Lake. Other than questionnaire, semi directed conversation will be recorded.

Community members will help and work alongside researchers in the field. Consultations and meetings with local indigenous groups will be done before the commencement of field work. Traditional ecological knowledge surveys will be conducted to gather information on inconnu biology.

The study will be presented to the communities in NWT in format of an oral presentation or poster.

The fieldwork for this study will be conducted from September 26, 2017 October 20, 2017.