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Whirling Disease in Alberta
Presented by Lesley Peterson, Alberta Provincial Biologist with Trout Unlimited Canada
Lesley Peterson is Trout Unlimited Canada’s Alberta Biologist, based in Calgary. Whirling disease, which affects salmonid species such as trout and whitefish, was confirmed in Banff in August 2016 and has since been confirmed at several sites along the Bow River, Crowsnest River, and in some rivers within the Red Deer and North Saskatchewan River basins as well as some commercial aquaculture facilities. Lesley is a member of the provincial Whirling Disease Committee, which was established late in the summer of 2016 in response to the first detection of Whirling Disease in Canada. This presentation will include a background on whirling disease including the life cycle of the parasite that causes it, the history and distribution of the disease, and how it can affect fish. She will provide an update on the situation in Alberta, and information about how we can prevent the spread of whirling disease and other aquatic invasive species.
Photo courtesy of Lesley Peterson – Lesley releasing a brown trout into the Waterton River that was rescued from an irrigation canal as part of Trout Unlimited Canada’s annual Fish Rescue effort.