Date of Award

December 2020

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Freshwater Sciences

First Advisor

Jhonatan Sepulveda

Committee Members

John Janssen, Brian Shepherd


The demand for yellow perch in the Great Lakes region has withstood time despite declining yellow perch populations in the Great Lakes. Today aquaculture can aid in meeting the demand. However, the technologies such as cryopreservation which would allow for large-scale, year-round broodstock operations is underdeveloped. Cryopreservation of fish gametes has many practical applications for use in aquaculture including assistance in asynchronized spawns, preservation of genetic resources with known pedigree and quality, and simplification of gamete transportation. This thesis evaluated the most current yellow perch semen cryopreservation protocol to determine whether fresh and cryopreserved semen differ in their ability to fertilize eggs and whether the motion and kinetics of sperm differ before and after cryopreservation. Cryopreservation had a negative impact on the percentage of viable eggs after two days of incubation (P = 0.0206) and a negative impact on the percentage of viable embryos after twelve days of incubation (P < 0.0001). Cryopreservation significantly reduced the percentage of motile sperm (P = 0.0015) and the curvilinear velocity of sperm (P = 0.0116), but it did not impact the average path velocity, straight line velocity, linearity, wobble or progression of sperm. The results imply a need for additional research on immobilizing solutions, cryoprotectants, activating solutions, freezing vessels and freezing methods specifically for yellow perch if cryopreservation is to be a viable broodstock management technique for this species.