Originally published by CBC News, September 12, 2016
A deadly fish disease discovered for the first time in Canada in late August has now spread to the Bow River, Canadian Food Inspection Agency officials confirmed Monday.
Whirling disease affects trout and salmon, and can cause infected fish to swim in a whirling pattern and die prematurely.
After the disease was first detected in Johnson Lake in Banff National Park, officials began testing nearby waterways to see if it had spread.
They confirmed the presence of whirling disease in the upper Bow River, downstream from the confluence of the Bow River and Cascade River within Banff National Park.
Sample results from the Sam Livingstone Provincial Fish Hatchery in Calgary and the Cold Lake Provincial Hatcheries tested negative.
Work is underway to collect samples from basins immediately adjacent to the Bow River, including the Oldman River and upper Red Deer River watersheds.
Results will be reported by the CFIA as they are received.
Bow River attracts fishers from all over the world
The owner of Calgary-based Out Fly Fishing Outfitters says people come from all over the world to fish for trout on the Bow.
“People come here because they want that hard-fighting, exceptional wild fish,” Josh Nugent explained.
“If whirling disease were to take hold on the river, it gives people less reason to come here.”
To read more visit CBC News. Photo courtesy of Mike Lawrence/The Gleaner/Associated Press.