Thursday, October 13, 2016

Whirling disease found outside of Banff has experts on edge

By David Bell, CBC News

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency says whirling disease has been discovered in fish from Johnson Lake in Banff National Park and now outside of the park. (File Photo/John Hart/The Associated Press)

   The deadly whirling disease has been detected outside of Banff National Park for the first time and it's causing anxiety among officials. The disease affects trout and salmon and can cause infected fish to swim in a whirling pattern and die prematurely.
   Up until recently, all known cases were found inside the national park.
But now, a Lacombe-area trout farm owner isn't sure what his next steps will be, now that the disease has been found at his facility earlier this month.
   Lacombe is north of Red Deer and almost 300 kilometres from Banff.
   "We're positive so now what?" asks Jack Fraser. 
   "Do I just sit here? I can't sell the fish, I can't buy a fish. Most of us we all hatch them right. You buy eggs and you hatch them. I can't do that either. I can't get more fish started for next year or whenever. So you're in limbo. In the meantime they quarantine you."
   A biologist with the conservation group Trout Unlimited says Fraser's not alone.
   "It's just a really uncertain time," Lesley Peterson told CBC News...

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