IDFG Seeks Assistance From Public In Tracking Mountain Whitefish Deaths

IDAHO FALLS – Idaho Fish and Game (IDFG) is looking for help from river users. Over the past few weeks, IDFG has documented dead mountain whitefish on the South Fork and mainstem Snake River, and has received similar reports of dead whitefish on the Teton and North Fork Salmon Rivers.

At this time, IDFG does not know the cause of the kill. According to Regional Fisheries Manager Dan Garren, ” It’s particularly interesting in that whatever is going on is affecting only whitefish, and not trout. It also appears to be affecting the smaller (younger) fish, generally those less than 10″. IDFG has sent numerous samples of dead/dying whitefish to the Eagle Fish Health Lab for analysis, and hopes to have results of those in the near future.”

“If you see dead whitefish around the region, it would be helpful if you could let IDFG know. At this point, there have been no documented kills in the Henrys Fork, though it is possible that it may be happening there as well. There also have not been any documented deaths of whitefish over 12″, and no reports of kills of other species. ” said Garren. IDFG is also interested in obtaining additional information on the distribution of dead fish, and other species that may be affected by the kill. Anglers are asked to keep an eye out for additional dead fish, and to report their findings to IDFG at 208-525-7290. The more information you can provide (location, species, size of fish, etc.), the better.

“Thanks for keeping your eye out!” says Garren.