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Whirling Disease In Alberta


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The alarm bells have been up since the early 90's on its encroach into Alberta. I think we have been too lax in pushing the cleaning of equipment and living on borrowed time. I know a lot of us have talked about cleaning your fishing items between bodies of water and streams. The big message has always been to wash off your waders, boots, nets to remove mud etc. with a high-pressure hose and let dry for a couple of days. Please, do this religiously even if you are fishing the same body of water. I know felt wader have been banned from some states but its a bit of a knee-jerk attitude, laces, cloth nets, gloves, waders and any porous material can transfer the disease. There have even been suggestions about using a mild bleach solution to disinfect boots (something I have done after fishing the US). rinse your gear with a 1:5 solution of ordinary household bleach and clean water. Rinse and air dry the equipment out of the sun. (The combination of sunlight and bleach can weaken fabric.)

 

Budgets have been hammered for a decade now and there simply is not enough money to pay for real protection of our fish and wildlife resources or a lot of research and biologists checking streams. Us anglers need to step up our attitudes & take the time to thoroughly clean gear.

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Just heard from a Prof that Parks is looking to hire some students to do some electrofishing and sampling looking for contamination. If you know someone looking for some fisheries work they should talk to Parks

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I got this from the Bow Habitat Station. Short version - they're testing the hatchery fish for the disease, and the hatchery and kid's pond are closed until further notice:

 

"As you may have heard in the news, whirling disease has been confirmed at Johnson Lake in Banff National Park. Although not harmful to humans, this disease targets salmon, trout and whitefish. As a precautionarly measure in alignment with our facility's bio-security protocols, the fish at the Sam Livingston Fish Hatchery are being tested for the disease.

 

Public Access to Trout Pond and Fish Hatchery suspended:

Until the testing has been completed, all public access to the Fish Hatchery and Kids Can Catch Trout Pond has been suspended. This is a precautionary measure the prevent the potential spread of the disease into our sensitive environment. At this time, there are no estimates to the length of the closure. Updates will be made available as test results are received, and in consulation with experts from the Canadian Food Inspection Agency.

 

We're still open!

Our Discovery Centre remains open to the public, Tuesdays - Sundays from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm.

In place of our regularly scheduled hatchery adventures, we are hosting FREE guided programs at 11:00, 12:00, 1:00, 2:00 and 3:00."

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I believe if my failing memory serves me well that the hatchery was shut down for PIN virus around the mid 80's about the time they apparently stopped stocking those wild rainbows in Johnson perhaps there were other things besides Fish Aids present at the time....... makes one wonder doesn't ....

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