Arkansas Hatcheries Dye Crappies with Calcein

By on May 26, 2016

Researchers use all sorts of tools to study fish, including dyes. Those had been used on many different species, but never crappie — until now.

According to a release from the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, a student in its aquaculture program has dyed crappies using Calcein for the first time. The result is glowing fish under black lights.

The glow-in-the-dark fish are all part of a research project wherein biologists are studying the effectiveness of the commission’s crappie stocking program. They’ve taken crappies from two different state hatcheries: the Joe Hogan Hatchery in Lonoke and the William H. Donham Hatchery in Corning.

Using Calcein is better than other markers because fish have to be sacrificed to use other dyes for investigations. Fisheries biologists are also curious as to how long Calcein will stay in the crappies, a question they soon hope to answer.

Glowing crappie from the study where Calcein was used to dye fish. (Credit: Arkansas Game and Fish Commission)

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