More rivers test positive for parasite that closed Yellowstone

By: 
Enterprise Staff

The Big Hole River is the latest Montana water body to test positive for the presence of a parasite associated with fish kill on the Yellowstone River last summer. 
Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks released a map indicating the 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 Jefferson, Madison, East Gallatin, Gallatin, Yellowstone, Shields (at the Yellowstone), Boulder, Stillwater, and Big Horn, 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, as noted on the map with white circles, 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.

PDF courtesy of Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks.
The orange lines on this  Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks survey map show streams infected with the parasite that caused the closure of the Yellowstone River this past summer.

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