MONTREAL, Jan. 26 (UPI) -- A Canadian study of fish relocation says trout, salmon and whitefish do not respond well to being transplanted from one environment to another.
Researchers at Concordia University in Montreal say regional genetic variations in fish populations make transplanting fish species to bolster dwindling numbers a tricky business, a university release said Wednesday.
Those genetic variations have an impact on how fish reproduce, grow and react to stresses in the environment, they say.
"We can't treat a species as something that is homogeneous throughout its range," Concordia University biology professor Dylan J. Fraser says.
"Fish of the same kind are distinct, whether they grow in lakes, ponds or streams.
"A salmon from Quebec isn't the same as a salmon from the Atlantic provinces or an individual of the same species from Europe," he says.
"That genetic diversity can allow a specific type of fish to thrive in one region -- to better adapt to stressors such as climate change or habitat changes -- while fish stocks of the same species introduced from another region can dwindle."
Fraser says the findings have economic implications for business or conservation programs looking to transplant species into new habitats.
"Salmon from Quebec, for instance, should not be reintroduced into British Columbia streams," Fraser says. "For fish to successfully adapt to a new environment, they should be selected by geographic proximity."