Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Mountain whitefish in varying states of decay are washed up on the banks of the Yellowstone River at Mallard’s Rest Fishing Access in August 2016.

More rivers test positive for parasite that closed Yellowstone

The Big Hole River in southwestern Montana is the latest water body in the state to test positive for the presence of a parasite associated with fish kill on the Yellowstone River last summer.
Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks indicated streams in southwest Montana that have tested positive to date for the presence of Tetracapsuloides bryosalmonae, known as PKX. 
Besides the Big Hole, other rivers already found to test positive include the Bighorn, Jefferson, Madison, East Gallatin, Gallatin, Yellowstone, Shields (at the Yellowstone), Boulder and Stillwater, according to an FWP news release.
Of these rivers, only on the Yellowstone River has there been a documented disease outbreak associated with PKX. Several Yellowstone tributaries, were also tested, and the parasite was not detected.
“The presence of the parasite alone doesn’t mean disease,” said FWP Fisheries Chief Eileen Ryce. “However, this map gives us a better handle on the extent of its distribution and reinforces the need to ramp up our fight against aquatic invasive species statewide.”
Recent aquatic invasive species findings in Montana include PKX and invasive mussel larvae in late fall 2016. 
Ryce emphasized the need for Montana boaters and other recreationists to always employ the “Clean. Drain. Dry” protocol to prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species.