Ɂehdzo Got’ı̨nę Gots’ę́ Nákedı
Sahtú Renewable Resources Board

2016-2019 Fish Monitoring - Environmental DNA

Environmental DNA, or eDNA, is the DNA of the things that live in the environment. Through this project, we are developing eDNA as a tool to assess the presence of specific fish species without actually seeing the fish themselves. While eDNA techniques have obvious applications to fisheries management and conservation issues, including assessing current and potentially shifting distributions and habitat use in the vast and rapidly changing Arctic, protocols specific to northern environments remain to be developed and validated against traditional sampling methods in remote locations. Therefore, for this project, we are focused specifically on developing protocols to detect rare and cryptic species in remote northern watersheds using a community-based monitoring approach. We are looking specifically for the DNA from Dolly Varden, bull trout, pink salmon and chum salmon in smaller rivers in the Gwich’in Settlement Area, and in the Mackenzie River in the GSH and Sahtú.

eDNA sampling Mountain 1

eDNA Fish

Team Members

  • Karen Dunmall, Fisheries and Oceans Canada
  • Robert Bajno, Fisheries and Oceans Canada


  • Gwich'in Renewable Resources Board
  • Nę K’ǝ Dene Ts’ı̨lı̨ Forum


Cumulative Impact Monitoring Program (CIMP)