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QUINAULT NATION MINIMIZES LOSSES FROM NEW VHSV ISOLATION

 QUINAULT NATION MINIMIZES LOSSES FROM NEW VHSV ISOLATION
 LAKE QUINAULT, Wash., Jan. 10 /PRNewswire/ -- The following was released today by the Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission:
 Newly implemented salmon hatchery operation techniques at a Quinault tribal facility minimized the preventive destruction of eggs after the detection of Viral Hemorraghic Septicemia Virus (VHSV). Previous isolations of VHSV required preventive destruction of millions of eggs and juvenile salmon at state, private and tribal hatcheries in western Washington.
 The VHS virus was discovered in one five-fish pooled sample of ovarian fluid taken from Clearwater wild coho captured for broodstock purposes. Eggs from these fish were incubating at the Quinault Indian Nation's Lake Quinault hatchery when the discovery was confirmed. An estimated 12,500 eggs were destroyed from the virus-positive fish sample as a protective measure. Improved fish culture guidelines established by the new Salmon Disease Control Policy recently adopted by the tribes and the state were in place at the hatchery. Culture techniques utilized by hatchery personnel met or exceeded those called for by the new policies and resulted in the immediate isolation and eradication of the virus at the hatchery.
 "Our hatchery crew was on top of this situation from the very beginning," said Quinault Fisheries Director Jim Harp. "Utilizing the most advanced hatchery management technology available, combined with our tradition as caretakers of the resource, ensures future healthy fish returns in the Quinault Nation's watersheds."
 Hatchery personnel implemented general protective measures designed to isolate groups of the eggs at their facilities until the health status of the parent fish could be determined. At Lake Quinault hatchery small individual "lots" of eggs, in this case from five pairs of parents, were isolated from other "lots" of eggs preventing the spread of virus or bacteria. Because the virus was isolated from only one five-fish group, only the eggs from that "lot" had to be destroyed.
 This marks the sixth VHSV isolation of salmon in Washington since the first ever in North America in 1988. In addition, VHS virus was isolated from pacific cod in Alaska in 1989 and 1991. Virology research by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) at their Research Center in Sandpoint, Seattle, leads them to believe that the VHS virus has been present in the waters of the Pacific Northwest for many years.
 While European strains of the virus have been responsible for marine mortalities in rainbow trout there, the North American strain of the virus has to date caused now known salmon or steelhead fatalities in North American waters. Preliminary research by the USFWS indicate a minimal effect on Pacific Northwest fish populations. The virus has no known effects on humans.
 "We feel the source of the virus is related to the marine environment," Harp said. "We don't yet know for certain the geographic range of the virus, its potential impact on our fisheries resources or how we might better prevent its occurrence."
 This virus is a rhabdovirus in the same class as the IHN virus that has caused fish mortalities in the region's salmon and steelhead hatcheries. Because of this the tribe asked for input from fish pathology experts throughout the region on how they should proceed. A fish health monitoring regime has been established and effluent water treatment measures implemented. Every measure possible was taken to prevent the transfer of the virus between the suspect eggs and other fish eggs at the hatchery, according to Harp.
 "However, if the virus occurs in wild fish, we're not sure we can do anything more than to isolate it and destroy those small lots of eggs or fish that originated from positive parents," said Harp.
 "The tribe will be monitoring the development of these fish through incubation, rearing and acclimation," said Harp. "We want only healthy fish for release next year."
 -0- 1/10/92
 /CONTACT: Jim Harp of Quinault Fisheries, 206-276-8211; or Bruce Stewart or Carson Boysen of Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission, 206-438-1180/ CO: Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission; Quinault Indian Nation ST: Washington IN: SU:


JH-LM -- SE005 -- 8837 01/10/92 19:15 EST
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Date:Jan 10, 1992
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