Help Prevent The Spread Of Whirling Disease And Other Aquatic Nuisance Species

June 26, 2004

Anglers need to be aware that aquatic diseases and nuisance species can easily spread from one water body to the other. For example, whirling disease, a bacterial parasite that causes deformities and death in trout, is found in many waters in Montana.

In the Madison River, New Zealand mud snails are established and can be accidentally spread and invasive aquatic plants are another threat. To help prevent the spread of parasites, exotic species and diseases, follow these tips:

* Remove all mud and aquatic plants from your vehicle, boat, anchor, trailer,

waders, boots, and fishing gear before departing a fishing access site or boat dock.

* Drain all water from your boat and equipment—including coolers and buckets

before leaving a fishing access site or boat dock;

* Dry your boat and equipment between river trips.

* Do not transport fish from one body of water to another;

* Do not use parts of trout, salmon, or whitefish for bait;

* Dispose of all fish bones or parts in a landfill, not down the drain.

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