The Parasite that Shut Down the Yellowstone

August 25, 2016 By: Erin Block

Microscopic parasitic jellyfish have been identified as the cause of the recent kill of tens of thousands of whitefish in the Yellowstone River, and trout could be next. The whitefish showed evidence of “proliferative kidney disease—the work of a highly contagious parasite that kills between 20 and 100 percent of infected hosts.” The parasite can be spread between waterways by humans, and Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks has closed a 183-mile stretch of the Yellowstone River to all recreation. “We recognize that this decision will have a significant impact on many people,” said FWP Director Jeff Hagener. However, we must act to protect this public resource for present and future generations.” Via The Atlantic.