More than 100 dead mallard ducks have been found near Salmon since Dec. 7, and Fish and Game biologists believe they have determined the cause.
“Preliminary necropsies sent to the National Wildlife Health Center indicate a potential acute aspergillosis infection,” according to Fish and Game biologist Mike Demick. That is “a respiratory illness caused by a fungus commonly found in soil, dead vegetation, compost piles and moldy grain.”
Final results for the exact cause of death are pending more tests, which most likely won’t be finished till next month, according to Demick.
Fish and Game workers began tracking dead ducks near Salmon after someone reported spotting the birds in an irrigation ditch south of town. More dead ducks were found in nearby sloughs and ponds. Fish and Game personnel continue to keep an eye out for dead ducks in the Salmon area.
Demick recommends hunters wear latex gloves when cleaning waterfowl and not eat the birds until the final test results are released.
People can report any dead waterfowl they see to the Fish and Game office in Salmon at 208-756-2271.