Bacterial Outbreak Forces Euthanization of Fish at Three Southern California Hatcheries
JULY 20, 2020
Email from CDFW Director Chuck Bonham
This email is to inform you that CDFW regrettably has to euthanize 3.2 million trout from three Southern California hatcheries due to a bacterial outbreak. This will deeply affect trout fishing in our state for some time.
Lactococcus garviea bacteria (similar to streptococcus) are in three of our hatcheries in Southern California (Mojave, Fish Springs and Black Rock). This bacteria can cause fish mortality in water temps above 59 degrees F.
The source of bacteria is unknown, although the DNA matches a strain found in the Columbia River Basin. Currently, the leading hypothesis is that the bacteria was avian spread (bird feces landed in the hatchery runs). Upon learning of the outbreak, CDFW immediately started treatments on the fish and announced the outbreak via press release.
Unfortunately, the antibiotic treatments have not been effective and costs have gone up to over $100,000 in the past two weeks for the medicated feed. As the treatments have not been successful, and costs keep rising, the decision was inevitable and we have to euthanize all 3.2 million trout at these facilities. This will deeply affect our ability to stock trout in Southern California this year, and beyond.
Today approximately at 1 p.m., we will issue a press release and FAQs. These documents are attached (PDF, see below) and are embargoed until we release the information.
Questions or comments from elected officials and their staff should be directed to LegislativeAffairsAll@wildlife.ca.gov.
Questions or comments from other interested parties, stakeholders and the public should be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
CDFW Director Chuck Bonham