Virus Forces Elimination of Nearly 100,000 Fish at Magic Valley Hatchery
FILER, Idaho (KLIX)-Around 96,000 young fish had to be euthanized when a virus was detected at state run hatchery northeast of Filer recently. The Idaho Department of Fish and Game announced late last week that staff at the Magic Valley Fish Hatchery had to remove the juvenile steelhead from the population after an infectious haematopoietic necrosis (IHN) virus was detected.
Officials said in a statement the virus is not uncommon to fish in the area, however the particular strain found in the fish wasn't native to the area. Idaho Fish and Game said the virus was detected during a routine health screening of the fish. The eggs had come from the department run Clearwater Fish Hatchery in north Idaho, an area where the strain of virus is found. The decision was made to euthanize the fish in the impacted raceway to prevent the spread of the virus.
Around 1.5 million fish are at the Magic Valley Fish Hatchery, located along the Snake River. The euthanized fish were supposed to be released into the Little Salmon River as smolts in 2021 and were intended only as a means to provide fisheries on the returning adults. Idaho Fish and Game said the loss of the fish isn't expected to have a major impact on the number of returning adults.