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Old 06-20-2007, 11:38 PM
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lady_angler lady_angler is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Mesa
Posts: 294
Post How to Stop the Spread of Whirling Disease

By now you have probably heard that Lee's Ferry tested positive for whirling disease. This is certainly not good news but it isn't the end of the world.

What is Whirling Disease?
"Myxobolus cerebralis is a metazoan parasite that penetrates the head and spinal cartilage of fingerling trout where it multiplies very rapidly, putting pressure on the organ of equilibrium. This causes the fish to swim erratically (whirl), and have difficulty feeding and avoiding predators. In severe infections, the disease can cause high rates of mortality in young-of-the-year fish. Those that survive until the cartilage hardens to bone can live a normal life span, but are marred by skeletal deformities. Fish can, however reproduce without passing on the parasite to their offspring." (courtesy of

I received a call from Larry Riley, G&F Head of Fisheries, and he asked me to help get the word out about what we can do to keep it from infecting more fisheries in the state.

Since whirling disease can live in a pair of waders for up to 30 years, it is crucial that anglers take a proactive approach in order to stop the spread.

It is very easy to stop the transfer and only takes a few minutes of your time. To clean waders and boots, use a 10 to 1 water to bleach solution. Use a spray bottle to saturate your waders and boots and then let dry. (10 ounces water mixed with 1 ounce of bleach). I have used this solution many times and found that it is not harmful to my gear. Larry also said that 409 cleaner will kill the parasite but I have no personal experience with using it.

Please help spread the word to all your angler friends so that we can keep all of our fisheries healthy.

For more information, you can go to
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