We monitored the prevalence and severity of Renibacterium salmoninarum (RS) infections in juvenile hatchery spring chinook salmon Oncorhynchus tshawytscha at eight Columbia and Snake river hatcheries from 1993 through 1996. This study followed a prior study that monitored RS in the same hatcheries from 1988 through 1992. In the current study, we found that the prevalence of RS-positive fish declined at two hatcheries relative to the preceding 5 years. Prevalence dropped from near 90% in 1992 to below 50% at both sites by 1993 and was less than 20% at three locations in 1995. In contrast, prevalence increased at four of seven sites in 1993 and six of seven sites in 1994. This indicated that previously reported declines in RS prevalence at these locations might have been temporary. Our results showed that in 1993 the majority of fish at all monitored hatcheries had low RS-antigen levels and remained that way at most locations through 1996. These results suggest that certain hatchery practices may limit the severity of RS infections. Although elevations at two sites in 1994 and 1995 indicate reductions in RS were temporary in the short term, long-term monitoring will undoubtedly be required given the many factors that influence disease processes.
Additional publication details
Prevalence of Rentbacterium salmoninarum in juvenile spring chinook salmon at Columbia and Snake river hatcheries, 1993-1996