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Wildlife Commission to consider whirling disease measure

The Habitat Partnership Program, a strain of whirling disease-resistant rainbow trout, and elk and deer Data Analysis Unit management plans headline the agenda for the Colorado Wildlife Commission’s April 8 workshop in Pueblo.

The workshop will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Pueblo Marriot, 110 W. First St.

The meeting features a presentation on a strain of rainbow trout that exhibits a strong resistance to Myxobolus cerebralis, the parasite that causes whirling disease. Whirling disease is thought to be a major factor in the decline of Colorado’s wild rainbow trout populations. The parasite has been confirmed in 13 of Colorado’s 15 major river drainages. DOW biologists are hopeful that these rainbows can be used to reestablish wild trout populations where they have been lost due to the whirling disease epidemic. The commission presentation will focus primarily on the management of these rainbows in Catamount Reservoir, a privately owned impoundment near Steamboat Springs, and in the Yampa River below Stagecoach Reservoir. The DOW is using Catamount to develop a brood source for these whirling disease-resistant fish.

Those who cannot attend the meeting can listen to the proceedings through a live audio link on the DOW’s Web site. The DOW provides live audio of all its commission meetings and workshops to keep citizens better informed about the development of regulations by the commission and how they and division staff are resolving issues facing Colorado’s wildlife. Constituents may access the live audio feed by clicking on the “listen to audio” link on the “Wildlife Commission” Web page during the meeting. Broadcasts are only available during the meeting.