Klamath Fish Have Ich

Chinook_salmon1

Stock photo of Chinook Salmon [By Josh Larios from Seattle, US via Wikimedia Commons]

Press release from the Yurok Tribe:

Yurok Fisheries crews conducting routine fish disease monitoring have found that salmon in the Klamath River on the Yurok Reservation are infected with a potentially deadly disease. Ichthyophthirius multifiliis, which is known as ich (pronounced “ick”), is capable of causing large fish kill events. Ich was the primary pathogen that caused the 2002 fish kill in the Klamath River and killed more than 35,000 adult Chinook salmon and steelhead. Ich was found at relatively low severity in the Klamath River last year, but is back this year at concerning levels.

“It appears that a small number of adult salmon migrated upriver in extremely warm water temperatures and then became stuck in a relatively small thermal refuge where they are getting infected with the pathogen. What this means for the health of the fall Chinook run that is yet to migrate upstream is unclear” said Michael Belchik, Senior Fisheries Biologist for the Yurok Tribal Fisheries Program.

Fish diseases such as ich are exacerbated by low flows and water temperatures that currently exist in the lower Klamath and Trinity Rivers.

The Yurok Tribe will be working closely with Federal, State, and Tribal partners to determine what management actions are necessary to prevent further spread of ich and protect the main portion of the fall Chinook salmon run which has not entered the river as of yet.

“We take this threat to our fish very seriously, and we’re looking at every option to protect our fish. We don’t want to go through another catastrophe like the fish kill in 2002, and we will do anything we can to avoid that outcome this year.” said Thomas P. O’Rourke, Chairman of the Yurok Tribe.

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6 comments

  • Honeydew Bridge Chump

    ICH,

    Misspelled…

    If PDX & TIE CITIES, weren’t jamming the hot river scene, it might be different.

    Columbia is a HOT river after Hanford.

    Can’t blame grow bags, blame unions that manage government pension plans off shore.

    I’d love to see a TOLL BOOTH, on 101, $2 a car, $2500 government car.

    Fair is fair.

    Tolling federal/state occupation travels is the start.

    $2500 each way, cash, blood sample drawn at entry, steroid positive is nine year’s labor digging streams.

    How can you take back what’s yours?

    Dunno, but world wide, it’s coming.

  • Praying for the lil Salmon!

  • ICK a common bacteria,the 2002 die off was from low river flows. The colder water keeps the bacteria in check. Until better water management is done you will see more die-offs. These are not little fishes, people around the Mattole water shed have not done the river any good either. Maybe there should be some blood testing on roads around Honeydew…………

  • “I did the itchy.”

    -Grandpa Simpson

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