State's testing finds few cases of Pfiesteria

August 14, 1998|BY A SUN STAFF WRITER

State officials called off daily sampling of fish in an Eastern Shore waterway yesterday after finding no signs of a significant outbreak of toxic Pfiesteria.

Liz Kalinowski, a spokesman for the Department of Natural Resources, said officials decided to cut back their sampling in Shiles Creek, which runs into the Wicomico River, after finding only three menhaden with lesions in three days of testing. She said the state will continue to take samples from the creek every week.

Natural resources officials began daily sampling Aug. 4 after finding 31 menhaden with fresh lesions characteristic of Pfiesteria exposure in the creek near the Somerset County community of Whitehaven. Officials decided the outbreak was not extensive enough to warrant closing the stream.

Kalinowski said officials have found no indications this summer of Pfiesteria outbreaks elsewhere in the Chesapeake Bay or its tributaries. She said menhaden, a species that is believed to be associated with toxic Pfiesteria outbreaks, have just begun to migrate up the bay in significant numbers.

Pub Date: 8/14/98

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