Due to an outbreak of Whirling Disease last year, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) will be canceling the popular “Kids’ Fishing Days” at the Mt. Shasta Hatchery indefinitely. The hatchery typically hosted several such events each summer.
“It’s unfortunate that we have to cancel an event that’s been held annually since 1992,” said Neil Manji, CDFW Northern Region Manager. “However, we need to continue our careful decontamination process at Mt. Shasta in order to ensure the long-term health of the fish there.”
A separate “Kids’ Fishing Day” is still scheduled for Saturday, May 14 at Grace Lake in Shingletown. Similar events were held in March and April in Redding and Bend.
Whirling disease is caused by Myxobolus cerebralis, a protozoan parasite that destroys cartilage in the vertebral column of trout and salmon. It is fatal or disfiguring to infected trout and salmon but does not affect humans. Fish infected with whirling disease are safe for human consumption.
Whirling disease was found in three CDFW hatcheries in 2015 and has been contained with hatchery operations resuming in all three. CDFW pathologists routinely inspect each of the 13 state-run trout hatcheries which raise approximately 10 million trout for California anglers statewide, as well as the nine hatcheries that raise over 31 million young salmon and steelhead.