Yellowstone River CLOSED from Gardiner to Laurel Due to Parasite
Bold action by Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks in hopes of containing the spread of a parasite blamed for the recent fish kill on the Yellowstone River.
According to Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks:
- Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks is implementing an immediate closure of all water-based recreation (fishing, wading, floating, tubing, boating, etc.) on the Yellowstone River and its tributaries from Yellowstone National Park’s northern boundary at Gardiner to the Highway 212 bridge in Laurel.
- This significant action on the part of the Department is in response to the ongoing and unprecedented fish kill on the Yellowstone.
- This action is necessary to protect the fishery and the economy it sustains.
- The closure will also help limit the spread of the parasite to adjacent rivers through boats, tubes, waders and other human contact and minimize further mortality in all fish species.
- Test results from samples sent to the U.S. and Wildlife Service Fish Health Center in Bozeman show the catalyst for this fish kill to be Proliferative Kidney Disease – one of the most serious diseases to impact whitefish and trout.
- The disease, caused by a microscopic parasite, is known to occur in Canada, the U.S. and Europe.
- It has been documented previously in only two isolated locations in Montana over the past 20 years.
- Recent outbreaks have occurred in Washington, Oregon and Idaho. In trout, research has shown this disease to have the potential to cause 20 to 100 percent mortality.
- The parasite does not pose a risk to humans.