Rick Routledge, a Simon Fraser professor, uncovered piscine reovirus in 13 out of 15 cutthroat trout collected from Cultus Lake. While this is no cause for concern for humans and their consumption of fish, it could have an impact on other freshwater populations of fish such as salmon.
According to Routledge, the virus is widespread in Norwegian salmon farms where it has been linked the death of 20% of infected fish.
Routledge says after he started testing with a biologist from the Watershed Watch Salmon Society, it was not hard to find fish infected with the virus.
“We found it because we looked. It’s as simple as that. I think it’s really serious and sometimes I feel desperate that the province isn’t taking this more seriously, and the federal government. They should be.”
Conversely, Gary Marty, a BC Ministry of Agriculture fish pathologist, expressed little cause for concern. In 2010 the virus appeared in 75% of farm raise fish, but caused no disease among the fish.
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