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Biological Information and Technology Notes 98-013

Windrow Composting as an Effective Method to Dispose of Large Numbers of Fish

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During July 1998, at the USGS Leetown Science Center, Kearneysville, West Virginia, an epizootic occurred in 16-month-old Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar). The cause ofmortality was diagnosed as furunculosis, a serious disease in salmonid fishes caused by the bacterium Aeromonas salmonicida. The fish were being maintained as part ofongoing research and were held in uncovered 30-m-Iong concrete raceways, each supplied with about 757 L per minute of 12 °C pathogen-free spring water. The means by which the fish became infected could not be determined, and there was no recent history offurunculosis in the hatchery system.

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