We require at least 10 samples per lake before we advise submitting fin clip samples. While costs do rise, larger numbers of fish sampled increases the likelihood of obtaining a representative subset of the genetics present in the lake.
Submitting Fin Clip Samples Directions
- Provide a fin clip (usually dorsal (back) fin) that is 1-2 square cm. This is a piece about the size of standard men’s dress shirt button.
- If the sampled fish is too small to allow a sample of this size to be safely taken, the entire fish can be sent as a sample.
- Clean dissecting tools (scalpel, knife, razor blade) and dissecting surface between fish samples to minimize contamination from sample to sample. Wash tools/surface with water and wipe dry.
- We recommend providing several additional samples beyond the number you want analyzed. These provide “backup” samples in the case of contamination or degraded DNA.
Packaging, Labeling and Shipping Samples
- Place into individual vials (tubes) containing 70-95% EtOH (ethanol). This method allows best preservation of DNA and allows shipping at room temperature.
- Label on vials if individual fish identities or location information is important. If using ethanol, be sure not to splash it as it will erase pen labels on your vials. If individual fish do not need to be distinguished, a box of vials can be labeled to provide information on all the individual samples. Provide sampling location, sampling date, and length and weight of fish (if available). This information can alternatively be provided on accompanying paperwork. Be sure to label and differentiate samples coming from different bodies of water.
- Samples in vials with ethanol can be shipped standard fare at room temperature. Provide additional relevant information on samples (number of samples you wish analyzed, sampling locations, sizes, stocking history, etc.) in the accompanying paperwork.