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

Bullhead derby returns to Port Alberni with new date, location

Lions Club partners with Maritime Discovery Centre

Vancouver Island woman to attempt historic swim across Juan de Fuca Strait today

Ultra-marathon swimmer Susan Simmons to attempt to swim from Victoria to Port Angeles and back

Port Alberni RCMP honour fallen officers from New Brunswick

Moment of silence, prayers held for Fredericton officers killed last week

Trio of Cops for Cancer Tour de Rock events planned for Port Alberni

Cancer Society volunteers work behind the scenes to fundraise for tour

PHOTOS: B.C. city wakes up to darkness under wildfire smoke

The rest of the province also dealing with thick haze as smoky skies continue

44 drownings so far this year in B.C.

Lifesaving Society urging caution to prevent deaths while on lakes, oceans and in pools

Some of B.C.’s air quality levels worse than Jodhpur, India

Okanagan, northern B.C. seeing some of the worst air quality globally

Thousands to attend funeral service for officers killed in Fredericton shooting

Hundreds of officials marched in the parade, which included massed band, several police motorcycles

VIDEO: Ground crews keep a close eye on largest B.C. wildfire

Originally estimated to be 79,192 hectares, officials said more accurate mapping shows smaller size

Canadians believe in immigration but concerned about asylum seekers: study

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada paid for study to understand Canadian attitudes

These are the highest-paid actresses of 2018

In its list released this week Forbes said all 10 earned a total of $186 million before tax

VIDEO: Fires break out in scrap piles at mill on Vancouver Island

Nanaimo firefighters got blazes under control in early morning hours Saturday at Harmac Pacific

Two hurt in car wreck on old Island Highway

Honda and Volkswagen crash at 10 p.m. Friday at highway intersection in Nanaimo

Most Read