Yellowstone River Disease Detected in Idaho Waters, Not Affecting Fish
TWIN FALLS, Idaho (KLIX) – A disease that killed thousands of fish in the Yellowstone River in Montana has been detected in Idaho waters.
The good news is that it hasn’t affected fish in the Gem State, according to the Idaho Department of Fish and Game.
The parasite that causes proliferative kidney disease – found mostly in mountain whitefish but sometimes in trout – was identified in 1980 in Idaho and periodically caused fish die-offs, Fisheries Bureau Chief Jim Fredericks said in a prepared statement issued Friday morning. Officials, however, have not seen outbreaks of fish die-offs this year.
“We’ve seen incidences of it,” he said, “but nothing that has impacted wild trout populations.”
According to the news release:
Pathogens that cause diseases like proliferative kidney disease (PKD), are often found in waters, but cause no direct harm to fish populations. Like the influenza virus with humans, it’s often present, but that doesn’t necessarily mean there’s illness.
As a preventive measure, all recreationists are encouraged to clean, drain and dry boats, waders, boots, fishing gear and any other clothing or equipment to prevent moving pathogens or parasites from one body of water to another.
“We will continue to be vigilant as we monitor fish populations around the state,” Fredericks said. “While we can’t point to any serious impacts in Idaho at this time, this is a good reminder to anglers and other recreationists to help control the spread of unwanted organisms.”