Fish surveys testing for disease

Members from Texas Parks and Wildlife Department’s Tyler north fisheries management team assisted U.S. Fish and Wildlife staff from the Southwestern Fish Health Unit in Dexter, New Mexico, with the collection of fish samples from Lake Fork this month. The sampling is part of the National Wild Fish Health Survey, which monitors pathogens and diseases in wild fish. Samples were taken from largemouth bass, redear sunfish, bluegill, longear sunfish, channel catfish, gizzard shad, bowfin, freshwater drum and black crappie. Similar collections are being done this year at Lake Texoma and Lake Amistad.

Kevin Storey, district supervisor of the Tyler north fisheries district, said the survey is apparently to see if diseases, viruses and pathogens that have shown up in hatcheries, are present in wild fish populations. Whirling disease and an Asian tapeworm are of concern, he said. Samples at Lake Texoma have been taken in the past, but new funding has allowed sampling at Lake Fork and Lake Amistad.