Population genetics of Australian grayling

​Application for Scientific Permit – Available for Public Comment​​

Public comment on the following application for a Scientific Research (Fauna) Permit is open until 5 March 2018.

Applicant: Arthur Rylah Institute, Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning

Species/Taxon: Australian Grayling (Prototroctes maraena)

Location: Northern Tasmanian rivers including Great Forester, Ringarooma, Leven, lower Mersey, North Esk, Great Forester and Ringarooma 

Title of research: Population genetics of Australian grayling across south-east Australia

Aim of project: To examine population genetics of Australian grayling Prototroctes maraena across south east Australia, including streams in Tasmania as well as Victoria and New South Wales. 

- The Australian grayling (Prototroctes maraena) is a threatened native fish species that inhabits coastal rivers and streams in south-eastern Australia. 
- Undertaking a genetic assessment of population structure throughout the species’ range is identified as a priority objective in the National Recovery Plan (Backhouse et al. 2008) for the Australian grayling. 
- The level of population genetic structure among Australian grayling populations was examined by Schmidt et al. (2010) across four coastal rivers in Victoria. No detectable geographic structuring of Australian grayling populations was evident among the coastal rivers of Victoria sampled in the study. 
- However, because the distribution of Australian Grayling extends beyond the limits of the study by Schmidt et al. (2010) into eastern South Australia, southern New South Wales and around the coast of Tasmania, further research is needed to identify stock structure throughout the species’ range. 
- Moreover, relatively few genetic markers were used in the previous study (four microsatellite markers), therefore it had limited power to detect genetic structure. 
- This work builds on a previous assessment of population genetic structure among Australian grayling populations by Schmidt et al. (2010) limited to four rivers in Victoria.

Maximum likely numbers of individuals involved: Fin clips from up to 30 individuals from each of 3-4 rivers in Tasmania. Total maximum up to 120 clips 

Activities undertaken and methods: Fish will be collected by back-pack or bank-mounted electrofishing. Fish will be netted from the water and placed into 20 L buckets. The fish will be removed from the bucket and placed dorsal side up in a "V" shaped board. The dorsal fin area will be washed with betadine solution and a piece of tissue (~5mm2) removed using stainless steel scissors. Using forceps, the fin clip will be placed in pre-labelled 2mL screw-cap tubes containing 100% ethanol and kept cool (on ice/refrigerated) while in the field and then transferred to a freezer on return from the field. Scissors and forceps will be wiped clean with an alcohol swab before cutting each fish. Each fish will also be weighed to the nearest gram and measured for fork length. Once the fin clip has been taken, the fish will then be returned to an aerated recovery tank and visually monitored until it recovers. It is then released. 

Fate of animals: Returned to their natural river environment

Likely impact on species involved (including any by-catch): Any non-target species that are captured will be returned to the water away from the electric field within 5-20 minutes of capture.


Scientific Research Permits
Natural Values Conservation Branch
134 Macquarie Street
Hobart TAS 7000
Email: Scientific.Permits@dpipwe.tas.gov.au

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