ORONO — University of Maine scientists are working on a project to use DNA to locate invasive fish species in rivers and lakes.

Michael Kinnison is a professor of evolutionary applications at the university who is working on the project. The university says the project will use “environmental DNA detection” to target the DNA material shed by specific aquatic species. Kinnison says biologists have mostly had to rely on word of mouth from anglers and other residents to find out about the presence of invasive fish.

The university says Maine Outdoor Heritage Fund is paying for the pilot portion of the project. That portion will use water samples to detail the extent of northern pike in the Penobscot River system. The northern pike is an invasive fish.

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