Call for Tissue Samples from sculpins to identify and locate potential conservation units

Michael Young and colleagues are using DNA barcoding to identify and locate potential conservation units—subspecies, ESUs, DPSs, stocks, or species new to science—of sculpins from throughout the western U.S.

Mike Young & his collaborators recently described a new species of sculpin in north Idaho (species description hyperlinked here: using cost-effective DNA barcoding techniques (study hyperlinked here: Moreover, tissue samples from their fish surveys across northern Idaho & NW Montana suggest there may be several additional undescribed species just within that restricted geographic area. Across broader areas like the northwest or western U.S., there’s even more to learn about fishes in this genus.

They are trying to crowd-source a greatly expanded effort to collect sculpin tissues this year; and so it is that SCULPIN-QWEST 2014 has been born.

If you, or someone you know, will be sampling fish this year and wouldn’t mind taking fin clips (or preserving several individuals in alcohol) from 4-5 sculpins in your sample streams, it would be greatly appreciated. The method for collecting tissue samples can be found at For more informaiton on the project see:

Another bonus from learning more about the evolutionary history of this genus is that it may also reveal much about the geomorphic history of western river basins and their drainage patterns over deep time scales.

Please forward this information to anyone that may be sampling fish this summer & might be inclined to contribute samples. Your help is greatly appreciated!

If you have questions, Mike can be reached at; 406-396-1209.