Whitefish numbering in the thousands were found dead recently on the shores of the Snake River in southeastern Idaho.
Idaho Fish and Game received several reports of dead and sick fish on the South Ford of the river.
“We know this disease organism has been in Idaho for over 30 years, and we’ve seen similar outbreaks in the South Fork and other waters in recent years,” says Regional Fisheries Manager Dan Garren. “Because we monitor these fisheries so intensively, we can say with confidence that trout and whitefish populations have continued to do very well even after we confirmed that PKD was present.”
Fisheries biologists surveyed the section of the river, visually confirming the dead whitefish. Biologists also used electrofishing to gather samples of sick fish and to check the health of fish populations in the river.
Fortunately, biologists don’t think the outbreak will affect the overall fish population.
A similar fish kill took place in the South Fork in 2012, killing mostly whitefish. The cause was PKD that time.