Abstract Six microsatellite loci, isolated for Piaractus mesopotamicus (Characidae, Serrasalminae) were used to evaluate the genetic variability of the dorada (Brycon moorei sinuensis, Characidae, Bryconinae) population in the Sinú River, Córdoba, Colombia, and to facilitate management recommendations for this species. The six loci were polymorphic, with an average of 9.25 alleles for dimeric loci (Pme2, Pme4, Pme5 and Pme20), and five alleles for trimeric loci. Tests for linkage disequilibrium were used to determine that the six loci had an independent distribution. The observed heterozygosities were lower than the expected ones for all loci, and the population was not in Hardy–Weinberg equilibrium because of heterozygote deficiency. F-statistics indicated inbreeding and a low population substructure. The homogeneity of the population was confirmed by high values of genetic flux and an agglomerated representation of the individuals, based on factor correspondence analysis. Recent bottlenecks were detected for three sample sites under the assumption of an infinite allele mutation model. Proposals for the management of the dorada population are made and validated with a genetic simulation.