Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Virus discovered in Cultus Lake sport fish

Date:
July 19, 2012
Source:
Simon Fraser University
Summary:
A fish-population statistician has uncovered evidence of a potentially deadly virus in a freshwater sport fish in B.C.

A Simon Fraser University fish-population statistician, working in collaboration with non-government organization scientists, has uncovered evidence of a potentially deadly virus in a freshwater sport fish in B.C.

SFU professor Rick Routledge and Stan Proboszcz, a fisheries biologist at the Watershed Watch Salmon Society, have found evidence of the piscine reovirus (PRV) in cutthroat trout caught in Cultus Lake.

Tests conducted by, Fred Kibenge, a virology professor at the Atlantic Veterinary College in Prince Edward Island, found evidence of the virus in 13 of 15 sampled fish. Follow-up analyses further confirmed the virus's presence in these fish and identified their genetic sequencing as 99 per cent identical to Norwegian strains.

The virus has been scientifically linked to heart and skeletal muscle inflammation (HSMI), a disease that has reportedly become widespread in Norwegian salmon farms and can kill up to 20 per cent of infected fish.

Routledge believes this first ever discovery of PRV in a B.C. freshwater sport fish indicates the virus could be prevalent in B.C.

Many Canadian scientists and interest groups are concerned that B.C. salmon farms pose a serious risk to wild Pacific salmon. Scientists in other countries have specifically raised concerns about the spread of PRV from farms to wild salmon.

"If PRV has been found in a Cultus Lake sport fish it could be contributing to the failure of the lake's sockeye population to return in abundance," says Routledge.

He notes the federal government-mandated Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada has listed the species as endangered.

"The discovery of PRV in Cultus Lake's cutthroat trout also begs the question is it in other related species in the lake, such as rainbow trout, kokanee and Dolly Varden? This latest discovery could also mean that salmon and trout in any lake exposed to spawning salmon returning from the North Pacific must be considered at risk of infection."

Earlier this year, SFU honorary degree recipient Alexandra Morton, an independent biologist who collaborates on fish research with Routledge, reported that lab tests had found PRV in Atlantic salmon sold in B.C. supermarkets.

PRV is the second virus commonly associated with salmon farming that scientists say they have found in wild Pacific salmon and trout. Last fall, Routledge and Morton reported positive test results for the infectious salmon anemia virus (ISAv) in sockeye salmon smolts.

Scientists testifying at the Cohen Commission Inquiry -- a federally commissioned investigation of the Fraser River's declining sockeye population -- have brought forth highly contested evidence of ISAv in other wild salmon populations, including Cultus Lake sockeye. The inquiry is scheduled to release its findings this fall.

"We discovered during the Cohen inquiry that pathogens are a major concern for B.C.'s salmon," says Craig Orr, executive director of Watershed Watch and an SFU graduate. "Our findings suggest we need to broaden our thinking and concerns for freshwater fish as well."

"There are many examples of devastating impacts of introduced pathogens in human, mammal and marine populations," adds Routledge.

"When small pox was introduced to North America it decimated the aboriginal population, which had not had any previous opportunity to build up a natural immunity to the disease. The potential for this to happen to B.C.'s highly valued Pacific salmon and trout populations must be taken seriously."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Simon Fraser University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Simon Fraser University. "Virus discovered in Cultus Lake sport fish." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 19 July 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/07/120719132947.htm>.
Simon Fraser University. (2012, July 19). Virus discovered in Cultus Lake sport fish. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 28, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/07/120719132947.htm
Simon Fraser University. "Virus discovered in Cultus Lake sport fish." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/07/120719132947.htm (accessed July 28, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Monday, July 28, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

AP (July 28, 2014) Classes are being offered nationwide to encourage African Americans to learn about cooking fresh foods based on traditional African cuisine. The program is trying to combat obesity, heart disease and other ailments often linked to diet. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Asteroid's Timing Was 'Colossal Bad Luck' For The Dinosaurs

Asteroid's Timing Was 'Colossal Bad Luck' For The Dinosaurs

Newsy (July 28, 2014) The asteroid that killed the dinosaurs struck at the worst time for them. A new study says that if it hit earlier or later, they might've survived. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge from Nest

Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge from Nest

AP (July 27, 2014) A live-streaming webcam catches loggerhead sea turtle hatchlings emerging from a nest in the Florida Keys. (July 27) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Russia Saves Gecko Sex Satellite, Media Has Some Fun With It

Russia Saves Gecko Sex Satellite, Media Has Some Fun With It

Newsy (July 27, 2014) The satellite is back under ground control after a tense few days, but with a gecko sex experiment on board, the media just couldn't help themselves. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins