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Fisheries Management

Fishing WisconsinColumnaris bacterial disease

Columnaris is a common bacterial disease of fish. When water temperatures reach 65 to 70F, and rain events cause organic material to run into natural waterbodies, the conditions are excellent for the columnaris bacteria (Flavobacterium columnare) to thrive and multiply. Combine this with increases in spawning hormones (or other stress) which suppress the fishes' immune system, and you have the ideal recipe for a columnaris outbreak. Often just a single species/yearclass is affected. Other times, a multi-species kill can occur. The most commonly affected fish in Wisconsin are bluegills, crappies, yellow perch and bullheads. Characteristics of infection are yellow necrotic areas on the gills, eroded gill filaments, and sloughing skin. The bacteria are so aggressive they can also erode the upper and lower jaw. The time from infection to death can be very short (24 hours) depending on the amount of bacteria in the water and level of stress the fish experiences.

 

Columnaris

Columnaris - Flavobacterium columnare

Last revised: Monday April 06 2015