Whirling disease top of mind for Canmore CABIN course

Living Lakes Canada hosted a two-day stream health assessment course in Canmore, Alberta on July 16-17. There were 18 participants that attended the course to learn data collection techniques for biomonitoring, following the Canadian Aquatic Biomonitoring Network protocol.

The Bow Valley watershed (http://watershedreports.wwf.ca/…) has been listed as a red zone for Whirling Disease. Whirling Disease is caused by a parasite that affects salmonid (trout, salmon and whitefish). It uses these fish and an aquatic worm and hosts. Juvenile fish are most susceptible to Whirling disease. Whirling disease causes skeletal deformation and neurological damage. Fish “whirl” like a corkscrew, making them easy prey and not feeding appropriately.

Whirling Disease was detected in the Bow River watershed making it a red zone according to Alberta Environment and Parks (https://www.alberta.ca/whirling-disease.aspx).

During our CABiN course, Living Lakes Canada helped prevent the spread of Whirling disease by following the AEP decontamination protocol. We had the great experience of linking up with one of the decontamination trailers that drove across the province to decontaminate all of our equipment – FREE of charge. We now feel confident bringing our equipment to the next watershed, without any invasive hitch hikers or Whirling disease attached.

For a blog about the Canmore course submitted by WWF-Canada STREAM team member Catherine Paquette click HERE

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