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Tests Show No Evidence That Whirling Disease Is Spreading In Maryland
ANNAPOLIS — Department of Natural Resources officials are continuing to monitor sites throughout the state for evidence of whirling disease, a parasitic infection that attacks trout. Results from recent tests found no evidence the disease is spreading.
Anglers are urged to continue precautions to prevent spread of the disease such as cleaning boats and equipment thoroughly after fishing and not transporting live fish, insects, bait, or plant from one body of water to another.
“The North Branch Potomac River Catch and Return Trout Fishing Area and the outflow channel at Bear Creek remain the only affected waters according to results from this spring’s sampling,” said Don Cosden, Assistant Director of DNR’s Fisheries Service. Testing was performed to determine the presence of the parasite that causes whirling disease using both rainbow trout fry sentinels and wild fish.
Sentinel fry testing showed that Antietam Creek, Big Hunting Creek, Gunpowder River, Hoyes Run, Deep Creek Lake Tailrace, and the Savage River were all negative for the presence of the parasite, according to the US Fish and Wildlife Service Fish Health Center in Lamar, Pa.
Sentinel fry in the Bear Creek Trout Rearing Facility near Accident, Md. was conducted within the raceways as well as in the water supply intake from Bear Creek. All these trout fry tested negative for the disease. However, testing within the discharge channel below the hatchery reaffirmed the presence of the parasite. Steps are taking place to isolate this area from the Bear Creek mainstem to reduce possible contamination of the stream. Wild brook trout and free ranging rainbow trout collected from Bear Creek above and below the hatchery earlier this spring all tested negative for whirling disease.
The North Branch Potomac River downstream of Jennings Randolph Lake continued to test positive for whirling disease. Whirling disease was first documented in Maryland in the North Branch in 1996.
Additional testing results from the Casselman River, Youghiogheny River, Jennings Randolph Lake and Sand Run will be available soon. DNR asks fishermen to visit our Web site at http://www.dnr.state.md.us/fisheries/recreational/indexinland.html#2 for more information to help prevent the spread of whirling disease.
July 8, 2008
Contact: Wiley Hall
410-260-8002 office I 410-507-7526 cell
Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is the state agency responsible for providing natural and living resource-related services to citizens and visitors. DNR manages more than 449,000 acres of public lands and 17,000 miles of waterways, along with Maryland's forests, fisheries and wildlife for maximum environmental, economic and quality of life benefits. A national leader in land conservation, DNR-managed parks and natural, historic and cultural resources attract 12 million visitors annually. DNR is the lead agency in Maryland's effort to restore the Chesapeake Bay, the state's number one environmental priority. Learn more at www.dnr.maryland.gov