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23,600 diseased chinook salmon killed  
Lookingglass Hatchery stock euthanized to protect environment
Chinook salmon at Lookingglass Hatchery have been fighting ongoing disease

Bend.com news sources
Posted: Friday, March 4, 2005 4:54 PM
Reference Code: AR-21574

March 4 - LAGRANDE – Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife Officials today euthanized 23,600 chinook salmon at Lookingglass Hatchery due to ongoing disease problems with one production group.

Officials said the spring chinook were scheduled to be released in the Lostine River within the next two weeks. But fish in one of the raceways have been battling a major outbreak of Infectious Hematopoietic Necrosis Virus (IHN) and Bacterial Kidney Disease (BKD) since January, and the fish were not responding to treatment.

“We were faced with the choice of euthanizing these fish, or releasing them and potentially exposing the natural environment to two deadly fish diseases,” said ODFW Acting Northeast Region Manager Bruce Eddy. “Our first priority is protect and manage Oregon’s natural resources. It simply was not worth the risk.”

Eddy said the lost fish, totaling 1,180 pounds, will not seriously impact the Lostine River program. Lookingglass Hatchery’s 18-raceway facility annually rears nearly one million salmon. More than 160,000 salmon will be planted in the Lostine this year.

The hatchery is co-managed by ODFW, the U.S.

We were faced with the choice of euthanizing these fish, or releasing them and potentially exposing the natural environment to two deadly fish diseases.
Bruce Eddy
Fish and Wildlife Service, NOAA Fisheries, Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation and the Nez Perce Tribe. Hatchery funding comes from a federal mitigation program for power dams on the Snake River. Spring Chinook produced for the Lostine River are jointly managed by ODFW and the Nez Perce Tribe. The decision to euthanize the Lookingglass Hatchery stock was shared among the management partners.

Bacterial Kidney Disease and IHN are naturally occurring diseases. BKD outbreaks usually are treated with antibiotics. Eddy said the unseasonably warm weather in northeast Oregon this spring was likely why the fish did not respond to treatment.

The last sport fishery for Lostine River Coho was in 1974. The state is reviewing a proposal to create a sport fishery in the Wallowa River on Lostine stock spring Chinook for this year, although the plan is not yet final. Today’s hatchery loss will not impact that decision.





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