Cooperative Research Units
Education, Research And Technical Assistance For Managing Our Natural Resources
Home | Intranet | Digital Measures | Help

Ecological and genetic characteristics of slimy sculpin in s...


July 2005 - June 2009


The Departments of Natural Resources in Iowa, Minnesota, and Wisconsin have implemented “reintroduction” programs for sculpin Cottus spp. in streams in the Driftless Area Ecoregion of each state. The goal of these projects is to increase the distribution of sculpin by re-establishing viable, self-sustaining populations in trout streams where native populations are presumed to have been present historically, but were extirpated and unable to recolonize ( This effort will potentially restore an ecologically important species to these coldwater streams and provide an additional prey component for wild trout populations. Sculpin were successfully reintroduced to a southwest Wisconsin stream in the 1970s. However, the reintroduction programs were instituted with limited information about the ecological suitability of the streams selected for reintroduction. This study will investigate genetic characteristics, survival, prey availability, diet of slimy sculpin, and habitat of donor and recipient streams. Our goal is to determine characteristics of streams most amenable to establishing reintroduced populations and examine ecological exchangeability of the sculpin.

Research Products and Activities

Peer Reviewed Publications

  • Huff, D. D., L. M. Miller, and B. Vondracek. 2010. Patterns of ancestry and genetic diversity in reintroduced populations of the slimy sculpin: Implications for conservation. Conservation Genetics DOI 10.1007/s10592-010-0124-6. Abstract | 
  • Huff, D. D., L. M. Miller, C. J. Chiziniski, and B. Vondracek. 2011. Mixed-source reintroductions lead to outbreeding depression in the second-generation descendents of a native North American fish. Molecular Ecology 20:4246–4258. Abstract | 


  • Huff, D. D. 2010. Examining genetic diversity, outbreeding depression, and local adaptation in a native fish reintroduction program. PhD Dissertation, University of Minnesota, St. Paul, Minnesota.

Current Staff

Federal Staff: 95

Masters Students: 238

Phd Students: 144

Post Docs: 54

University Staff: 239

5 Year Summary

Students graduated: 673

Scientific Publications: 1905

Presentations: 4236



  • Bruce VondracekPrincipal Investigator
  • Rebecca BronkStudent
  • David HuffStudent

Funding Agencies

  • Cargill Fellowship
  • Minnesota Department of Natural Resources


Cooperative Research Units Program Headquarters Cooperators

  1. U.S. Geological Survey