Yurok Tribe finds deadly disease in Klamath River salmon

sm_klamathDan Bacher: The Klamath River salmon fishery, an integral part of the culture, religion and livelihoods of the Yurok, Hoopa Valley and Karuk Tribes of Northern California, is going through some tough times this year. Because of the record-low run of fall-run Chinook salmon projected by federal fishery managers earlier this year, the Yurok Tribe, the largest Indian Tribe in California, held its Klamath Salmon Festival this August without serving traditionally-cooked salmon to the public as it has done for 54 years.  Then on August 19, the Tribe announced that Yurok Fisheries crews conducting routine fish disease monitoring have found that salmon in the Klamath River on the Yurok Reservation are infected with a potentially deadly disease.  Ichthyophthirius multifiliis, commonly known as ich (pronounced “ick”), is capable of causing large fish kill events, according to the Tribe. Ich was the primary pathogen that caused the 2002 fish kill in the Klamath River and killed more than 35,000 adult Chinook salmon and steelhead after the disease spread in low, warm conditions spurred by Bush administration water policies that favored irrigators over fish and downstream water users. Read the story here 19:22