William R. Wayman1; Robert S. Bakal2
As populations of fish continue to decline due to overfishing, habitat alteration, and pollution, valuable genetic resources are being lost. Cryopreservation of sperm is a tool that can allow us to conserve these resources before they are lost. Cryopreservation is a process in which a living cell is frozen, stored, and thawed and remains viable.
Cryopreserved sperm allows spawning to take place whenever females are ready, reduces the need to hold males, and can increase flexibility and genetic diversity in spawning protocols.
Currently, the Warm Springs Fish Technology Center has worked with 14 species of fish; of these three are threatened or endangered. Plans are being made to continue working with endangered fishes, but also to begin working with freshwater mussels and other threatened and endangered aquatic species.