Date of this Version
White Paper Nebraska Game and Parks Commission, Genetic and Forensic Laboratory.
Historically, rainbow trout have been an important component of the fishery in Lake McConaughy and its feeder streams in the North Platte River basin. Although numerous strains of rainbow trout have been introduced into this system, the migratory McConaughy strain has been credited for much of the past success of the fishery. The decline of this strain over the last three decades is a major concern. Genetic material representing these two rainbow trout strains were collected from fish taken from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service National Fish Hatchery at Innis, Montana. In this study, PCR-RFLP's (polymerase chain reaction-restriction fragment length polymorphisms) were used to generate specific markers for McConaughy and Kamloop strains of rainbow trout. These markers were used to document the present status of the two different strains in two different drainages, one in the North Platte River basin (9 Mile Creek) and the other feeding into Lake McConaughy (Otter Creek). Otter Creek was found to consist of a mixture of McConaughy and Kamploop strains, whereas 9 Mile Creek was found to contain no McConaughy strain of rainbow trout.