Yellowstone cutthroat x rainbow trout

Rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) have been widely introduced across the world, and in some locations hybridize with native trout. With Annika Walters and Katie Wagner (University of Wyoming) and Jason Burckhardt (Wyoming Game and Fish), I am conducting a study of hybridization between native Yellowstone cutthroat trout (Oncorhynchus clarki bouvieri) and rainbow trout in the North Fork Shoshone River drainage near Cody, Wyoming.

We sampled juvenile trout from 26 tributaries of the North Fork in fall 2016, and are currently working with a large genomic dataset. Our goals with this work are to

  1. Identify extent of hybridization between Yellowstone cutthroat and rainbow trout in the North Fork Shoshone River
  2. Characterize variation in hybridization among tributaries
  3. Identify potential mechanisms that maintain reproductive isolation

Results of this work will inform conservation of native trout, and will also provide an important perspective on how consistent evolutionary processes that maintain reproductive isolation are across replicate instances of secondary contact between closely related species.