Eel disease reports on the Spey

My ears always perk up when I hear the Spey mentioned on the radio at breakfast time. That was the case this morning when the Spey was mentioned in connection with reports of diseased eels. In the all to frequent journalistic manner the story was embellished with suggestons that fishery managers were concerned that the disease may transfer to salmon stocks.  In my experience fish diseases are usually species specific. We have handled thousands of wild salmon smolts this spring with only one unhealthy specimen observed and two or three with fungus infection; all perfectly normal.

There have been no reports of adult salmon disease issues, in fact the adult salmon, which are running the river in much improved numbers this spring, are reported to be in great condition with many fantastic specimens over 20lbs.

Marine Scotland fish health inspectors have sampled three eels captured in our smolt trap in the Avon. We await the results but this link to “spring ulcer disease ” provides one possibility http://eurekamag.com/pdf/001/001127053.pdf  The symptoms and time of year are right but we await the results from the lab. In the meantime there is no cause for concern regarding potential transmission to salmonids.

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