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Whirling disease found in North Carolina tributary of Watauga Lake

George Thwaites, NET News Service • Aug 7, 2015 at 11:02 PM

In the event Northeast Tennessee anglers haven’t had enough troublesome news to tide them over, we’ve got more.

The presence of whirling disease — a dreaded neurological parasite that cripples rainbow trout — has been discovered in the Watauga River near Foscoe, N.C.

The infestation was confirmed by the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission late last month

The infected area is part of the upstream tributary that feeds Watauga Lake. That alone is disconcerting. The way whirling disease works, however, it can take all kinds of shortcuts into Northeast Tennessee trout streams.

“All it takes is for one fisherman to bring it over clinging on their boots,” said Huck Huckaba at Eastern Fly Outfitters in Piney Flats.

More on steam trouble from the Kingsport Times-News.