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BACTERIAL GILL DISEASE

Definition

A respiratory disease of juvenile hatchery-raised fish (primarily salmonids and ictalurids). An outbreak generally results from a complex of environmental, physiological and bacterial factors. The disease occurs most frequently in the springtime when the fish are actively growing and are crowded in waters of low oxygen and high ammonia. The bacteria involved are for the most part unspecified myxobacteria. Flexibacter columnaris has been implicated on several occasions. The disease is controlled effectively by reducing the population density and administering external antibacterials.

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