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own property, and caretake our wildlife and natural resources.
Note by Dan Keppen, KWUA Executive Director: - "269 dead fish identified. 5 million live hatchery fish released into the river since May."
Salmon parasite still spreading questions
Published June 24, 2004
Scientists scoured 87 miles of the Klamath River
last week for salmon fingerlings killed by a
"Anyone on the river will tell you that there are
fish dying every day," said Ron Reed, biologist
for the Karuk Indian Tribe.
"Because this is the first year of this kind of
survey it is hard to say if it is worse this year
or different," said John Engbring, director of the
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's California and
Nevada Operations office in Sacramento.
The survey data were released at a meeting of the
Klamath Fisheries Task Force, a group of federal
and state officials, tribes and stakeholders that
has meet three times a year since 1986. The
meeting, being held in Klamath Falls at the Shilo
Inn, started Wednesday and ends today.
"I don't think any of us know how this would
compare to other years," Engbring said. "This is
really a baseline."
While inside the fish, the parasites eat away at
the intestines, multiplying and causing a lethal
infection. Fish with C shasta usually die.
Although the percentage of fish being found dead
from C shasta in the four traps along the stretch
of river is high - up to 95 percent - the number
of fish caught in the traps is relatively low,
said Neil Manji, fisheries biologist for
California Department of Fish and Game.
So trying to figure out how many fish are affected
becomes a percentage game, he said.
Fourteen scientists from federal and state
agencies, as well as American Indian tribes and
private groups, fanned out from Happy Camp. Using
kayaks, jet boats and rafts, as well as snorkels
and underwater video cameras, they looked for
signs of a fish dieoff on the stretch of river
between Klamath and Big Bar.
Manji said the parasite is similar to C shasta,
and often fish get affected by both, so it is hard
to tell which of the parasites caused a fish's
People along the river are not the only ones
concerned about the parasites.
He said more research need to be done about the
Page Updated: Thursday May 07, 2009 09:14 AM Pacific
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