Laboratory Analyses »
Fish Morphometrics and Meristics
Morphometric (quantitative analysis of form) and meristic (countable trait) lab measurements are typically used to distinguish between very similar species (e.g., Lake Cisco and Shortjaw Cisco). Meristic measurements are typically species and/or project-specific, but often include counts of fin rays/spines, gill rakers, pyloric caeca, and lateral line scales. Common morphometric measurements include total/fork length, round weight, caudal peduncle depth, the size of individual body parts (e.g., eye, mouth, fin), and the distance between specific locations on the body (e.g., tip of snout to leading edge of eye). NSC is equipped to process marine and freshwater fish, and has recently worked on Cisco, Lake Whitefish, Dolly Varden, Salmon, Inconnu, Trout, and Stickleback samples. Staff have also assessed female fecundity (counts/estimates of egg numbers in ovaries), collected tissue samples for pathology testing, and have performed necropsies to examine fish parasite infracommunities.