IHN virus outbreak forces fish kill at Robertson Creek Hatchery

A virus outbreak has killed 60,000 steelhead at Robertson Creek Hatchery and prompted the involvement of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency

A virus outbreak has killed 60,000 juvenile steelhead at Robertson Creek Hatchery and prompted the involvement of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency.

Fisheries and Oceans Canada has confirmed that there was an outbreak of Infectious Haematopoietic Necrosis (IHN) virus at the Robertson Creek Hatchery.

The virus was diagnosed in January after extensive laboratory testing, said Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) spokesperson Carrie Mishima, who only responded to questions from the News by e-mail.

The virus has infected more than 60,000 juvenile steelhead at the hatchery, which have since been destroyed, officials said.

Hatchery staff became aware of the outbreak after noticing higher than normal mortalities in juvenile steelhead. Staff noticed signs of the virus and initiated lab tests.

According to the fisheries department, IHN is a naturally occurring pathogen in wild fish throughout the Pacific West Coast from Alaska to California.

IHN poses no risk to humans but it can spread quickly and has a 100 per cent mortality rate if a fish population becomes infected.

The virus is known to exist in Great Central Lake where the hatchery draws its water supplies. Lab tests identified the virus as the endemic, naturally occurring strain that is commonly found in Pacific sockeye.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency was called because IHN is a reportable disease.

Staff have isolated the area where the infected fish were being held, and are cleaning and disinfecting the area.

Measures have also been put in place to control the movement of staff and fish in and out of the hatchery.

Cleanup will be completed when the CFIA is satisfied that the process has met their requirements.

reporter@albernivalleynews.com

Twitter.com/AlberniNews

 

 

Just Posted

Alberni Armada boys crowned Island wrestling champs for 19th consecutive year

Alberni wrestlers bring home hardware from Islands, prep for B.C.’s at home

City of Port Alberni sticks to three percent

City council has proposed an annual increase of three percent for residential taxpayers

B.C. BUDGET: Fare freeze, free travel for seniors on BC Ferries

A complete fare freeze will be put into place on major routes, and fares will be rolled back on smaller routes by 15 per cent

Port Alberni’s drug death rate ‘highest on Island’ says medical health officer

British Columbia entered a state of emergency in 2017 over the opioid crisis

BC BUDGET: New spaces a step to universal child care

Fees reduced for licensed daycare operators

VIDEO: Top 10 B.C. budget highlights

The NDP is focusing on childcare, affordable housing and speeding up the elimination of MSP premiums

How to keep local news visible in your Facebook feed

Facebook has changed the news feed to emphasize personal connections. You might see less news.

OLYMPIC ROUNDUP: Two more medals push Canada into second place

A gold in ski cross and a bronze in bobsleigh as men’s hockey advances to the semis

Vancouver Island job market ever-evolving

Various sectors driving employment in region will be represented at Black Press career fair in Comox Feb. 8

Trudeau reiterates denial of Sikh separatists in cabinet, condemns extremism

“We will always stand against violent extremism, but we understand that diversity of views is one of the great strengths of Canada.”

Canada wins gold in men’s ski cross

Leman earns redemption with ski cross gold; Homan out early

Trump says more must be done to protect children

In a tweet Tuesday night, Trump indicated he wants to strengthen the background check system, but offered no specifics.

Evangelist Billy Graham has died at 99

Graham died Wednesday morning at his home in Montreat, North Carolina.

Most Read