- Associated Press - Wednesday, October 15, 2014

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) - Anglers have reported seeing dead brown trout on the Big Hole River near Melrose that had been infected by a fungus.

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks officials said the fish are susceptible to the fungus at this time of year because they are stressed from spawning, which depresses their immune systems.

Spawning trout will also fight or bump into each other, causing them to lose a layer of protective slime which shields them from disease.

Regional fisheries manager Travis Horton says “hot spots” for the fungus are not unusual and are typically short-lived.

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