Anglers who enjoy fishing opportunities across the province need to take precautions to help prevent the spread of whirling disease.
Whirling Disease is a microscopic parasite which can affect salmon, trout, char, mountain whitefish and grayling — which are collectively known as salmonids. Species such as rainbow trout, cutthroat trout and mountain whitefish are particularly susceptible to whirling disease, though impacts of the disease differ among salmonid fish species and in different waterbodies. The severity of whirling disease depends largely on the age and size of the salmonid host. Young fish are most vulnerable, with mortality rates reaching up to 90 per cent.
We can take steps to ensure we are not spreading the parasite to other water bodies. Have one set of fishing equipment for use only in whirling disease infected waters. You can find out where whirling disease is by searching for ‘Whirling Disease’ on the Alberta Environment and Parks website or visit the link here: https://www.alberta.ca/whirling-disease.aspx.
- Remove all mud from angling gear and ensure equipment is clean and dry before moving on to the next stream or river
- Avoid wearing felt soled wading boots as they have been shown to transport whirling disease spores
Here is a look at how to clean drain and dry your gear.
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