Fish Disease Dynamics in the Klamath River 2014

Salmonid Research, Monitoring, and Evaluation (RM&E)

Project IDYUROK-2013-3
Recovery DomainsN CA - S Oregon
Start Date07/01/2014
End Date09/30/2015
Last Edited05/08/2024
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This project consisted of collecting monthly samples of polychaete worms from the Klamath River to assess their infection rate with a deadly fish parasite known as C Shasta. Samples were collected from two study location in the upper portion of the Klamath River near Iron Gate Dam, and submitted to Oregon State University for sorting and DNA analysis using a separate funding source. The polychaete worms have been collected, and the samples are in the process of being sorted and analyzed by OSU. Additional in-river sampling was done to monitor for another fish disease known at Ichthyophthirius multifiliis.

Project Benefit    

Project goals: Determine the fish disease dynamics, including possible causative and contributing factors in the mainstem Klamath River over a 12 month period. Help monitor the efficacy of management action to reduce the disease infectivity of salmonids the Klamath River.

Expected outcomes: The data from this project is part of a larger coordinated effort to understand this disease that is having a significant effect to the fisheries resources of the Klamath River. This project will result in a final report that will be made available to the public on the Internet within one year of the completion of the field work.

PCSRF Goals, Objectives, and Priorities addressed: Understanding the life history and geographic distribution of important fish diseases in the Klamath River basin, is a crucial first step toward devising management strategies to reduce the impacts of these devastating disease. Reduction of impacts of disease would fulfill many of the goals and objectives of the PCSRF including improving the status of ESA-listed coho salmon and ensuring the overall sustainability of naturally-spawning Pacific salmon and steelhead.

Pacific Salmon Recovery Funds may also be used to augment Yurok Tribal participation in the following research projects or tasks that are partially funded by other sources: 1) assisting enumeration of wild spring Chinook adult salmon in the Salmon River; 2) monitoring disease pathogens of adult salmonids; 3) an assessment of the magnitude, species composition, and distribution of spawning in the mainstem Klamath River below Iron Gate Dam; and 4) an investigation into the probable but undocumented presence of the disease vector polychaete worm, Manyunkia speciosa, in the Trinity River. This project will allow the Yurok Tribe to foster development of partnerships with federal, state, and local governments as it seeks to improve management activities affecting Klamath River salmon.


Metric Completed Originally

Funding Details

Report Total:$55,000

Project Map



  • Worksite Identifier: 38472708
  • Start Date:
  • End Date:
Area Description

No Area Description data was found for this worksite.

Location Information

  • Basin: Klamath (180102)
  • Subbasin:
  • Watershed: 1801020910
  • Subwatershed:
  • State: California
  • Recovery Domain: N CA - S Oregon
  • Latitude: 41.196305608
  • Longitude: -123.736724853


  • Southern Oregon/Northern California Coast Coho Salmon ESU
  • Southern Oregon / Northern California Coastal Chinook Salmon ESU




  • E.0 Salmonid Research, Monitoring, and Evaluation (RM&E)Y (Y/N)
    •      . . E.0.a RM&E Funding 55,000.00
    •      . . E.0.b
      Complement habitat restoration project
    •      . . E.0.c
      Project identified in a plan or watershed assessment.
    •      . . E.0.d.1 Number of Cooperating Organizations 1
    •      . . E.0.d.2
      Name Of Cooperating Organizations.
      Oregon State University
    •      . . E.0.e.1 Number of reports prepared 0
    •      . . E.0.e.2
      Name Of Report
      (Final report in preparation)
    •      . . E.2 ResearchY (Y/N)
      •      . . . . E.2.a Research Funding 55,000.00
      •      . . . . E.2.b.7 Investigating fish health and/or disease/parasitesY (Y/N)
        •      . . . . . . E.2.b.7.a
          Key issues addressed by fish health and/or disease/parasites research
          Polychaete abundance is a main driver of the disease Ceratonova Shasta which is causing very high mortality rates among juvenile Chinook, coho, and steelhead. This effort quantifies that abundance and density and allows evaluation of the efficacy of high flow events or other management actions in controlling this disease. Infectivity rates are also important when evaluating polychaete control actions.