Trout stocking at Red Mound Reservoir has been suspended for the time being while the body of water is tested for the risk of whirling disease.
County of Wetaskiwin administration received an email notice from Diana Rung, biologist with Alberta Conservation Association, on May 2 confirming the news.
“This will not affect humans,” said Geoff Lunch, County of Wetaskiwin director of leisure and community services.
Whirling disease is caused by a microscopic parasite of salmonid fish, including trout, salmon and whitefish.
Species such as rainbow trout, cutthroat trout and whitefish are particularly susceptible to the disease, although whirling disease affects different species differently.
The severity of whirling disease largely depends on the age and size of the salmonid host. “Young fish are more vulnerable and mortality rates can reach up to 90 per cent,” said Lynch.
Signs will be posted to help stop the potential spread of the disease, similar to procedures taken with zebra muscles.