EUREKA, Calif. (AP) – Officials say the month-long Trinity River dam water releases that ended on Sept. 20 have helped prevent disease and parasite outbreaks on Chinook salmon and other fish harboring on the drought-stricken lower Klamath River.

The Eureka Times-Standard reports Saturday the flows down the Trinity River and into the lower Klamath River helped cool the drought-stricken waters, improving fish immune systems and washing away deadly, single-celled parasites known as ich that thrive in low-flowing, warm waters.

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Nearly 51,000 acre-feet of water was released from Lewiston Dam on the Trinity River between August and September.

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Senior fisheries biologist Mike Belchik of the Yurok Tribe says a survey of 25 fish conducted last week by him and his crew at Tectah Creek on the lower Klamath River found only two fish to have contracted ich, and those infections were minor.

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