June 25, 2007

Bird-feeding Warning Issued
Daily Record
22 Jun 2007
Area: Washington, USA

Recent reports of sick or dead birds at backyard feeders has prompted the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife to recommend that people temporarily discontinue bird feeding, or take extra steps to maintain feeders, according to a news release. Laboratory analysis of bird carcasses has confirmed salmonellosis, a common and usually fatal bird disease caused by the salmonella bacteria, said wildlife department veterinarian Kristin Mansfield.

“Salmonellosis is probably the most common avian disease at feeders in Washington,” Mansfield said in the release. “The disease afflicts species such as finches, grosbeaks and pine siskins that flock together in large numbers at feeders and transmit the disease through droppings.” The first indication of the disease is often a seemingly tame bird on or near a feeder, Mansfield said.

State Braces For New Fish Disease
24 Jun 2007
S Hess
Area: Indiana, USA

Ask most Indiana residents to name the largest lake in the state and their reply, usually, is Monroe, Patoka, Mississinewa, Salamonie or Brookville. Sometimes it's easy to overlook that lake up north that's 118 miles wide, 307 miles long and has 1,600 miles of shoreline. You know, Lake Michigan. We claim the lake's southern tip shoreline, between Illinois and Michigan.

Lake Michigan is what Martinsville veterinarian Dr. Douglas Skinner said got him thinking and worrying about the other day as he and his son, Evan, walked and fished the Tippecanoe River and Wildcat and Deer Creek streams. He explained he had attended a recent seminar on emerging fish diseases and that a hot topic among vets was viral hemorrhagic septicemia (VHS).

Klamath Fish Kill Alert Level Raised to Yellow
California Chronicle
23 Jun 2007

As Klamath River temperatures rise and the region’s below average snow pack continues to recede, the Klamath River’s salmon are again in trouble. These conditions, coupled with increased observation of disease, mortality, and average run size predictions have prompted the Klamath Fish Health Assessment Team (KFHAT) to increase its fish kill readiness alert level to yellow.

The KFHAT is a collaboration of agencies, tribes, and restoration organizations which formed during the summer of 2003 with the purpose of providing early warning and a coordinated response plan to avoid, or at least address, a fish kill event such as occurred in the fall of 2002. The 2002 fish kill was referred to as the largest in U.S. history, an estimated 68,000 Chinook died of diseases after entering the Klamath River to spawn.

Toxics Persist in Washington Rivers, Lakes and Fish
Environment News Service
25 Jun 2007
Area: Washington, USA
Photos Courtesy of USFWS, Washington Department of Ecology

Toxic chemicals banned decades ago continue to linger in the environment and concentrate in the food chain, threatening people and the environment, according to three recent studies by the Washington state Department of Ecology. The new data on toxic contaminants in freshwater fish and sediments add evidence to the state's push to reduce and eliminate the use of toxic substances.

"These studies provide initial screening and long-term monitoring that help show us where we need to focus our work to reduce toxic pollution in our lakes, rivers and streams," said Dave Peeler, manager of the department's water quality program. In one of the studies, state government scientists found unacceptable levels of toxic substances in 93 samples of freshwater fish collected from 45 sites.

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