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PKD outbreak US: August 2016 - on-going
A dead whitefish floats belly up near the Mayors Landing Fishing Access in the Yellowstone River in Livingston, Mont. on Sunday, Aug. 14, 2016. Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks estimates the fish kill to be in the tens of thousands and issued a closure of all water-based recreation on the Yellowstone from the Yellowstone National Park's northern boundary to Laurel, according to a press release. FWP lab results reveal the catalyst of the killto be Proliferative Kidney Disease ' one of the most serious diseases to impact whitefish and trout.
Idaho Fisheries Manager Jeff Dillon confirmed the presence of the parasite, but said it hasn’t yet been linked to any fish mortalities in the popular fishing area near Picabo [Idaho]. Dillon said rainbow trout were tested during a routine survey when biologists noticed lesions on their skin.
FWP plans to test fish tissue from several rivers across the state to learn as much as they can about the reach of the parasite. Horton said crews are gathering samples from the Madison, Gallatin, East Gallatin and Big Horn rivers. The Great Falls Tribune reported that tests are also being done on tissue samples from the Missouri and Smith rivers.
It can cause proliferative kidney disease, which is known to be one of the most devastating diseases for trout and whitefish. Idaho’s Snake River system has seen whitefish die-offs in recent years because of the parasite, and it has been found twice before in Montana — in the Madison River tributary Cherry Creek and a reservoir in the Smith River drainage. Horton said no fish deaths were documented in either case.
Horton said dead whitefish were seen in the Jefferson River near Sappington Bridge in the summer of 2015, but not at the scale of what was seen on the Yellowstone this year. Because whitefish are more susceptible to poor river conditions than trout, they didn’t think anything strange was going on and didn’t test fish for the parasite.
IDAHO FALLS, Idaho (AP) — Biologists have confirmed thousands of dead whitefish on the South Fork of the Snake River in southeastern Idaho, the Idaho Department of Fish and Game said Friday.
Biologists suspect it's an outbreak of proliferative kidney disease, the same pathogen believed responsible for killing thousands of whitefish in the Yellowstone River last month and led to the temporarily closure of that acclaimed river in Montana.
The disease was also responsible for whitefish die-offs on the South Fork of the Snake River in 2012, Idaho officials said.