Life Cycle of a Parasite

Size: 122 cm h x 91 cm w, 48” h x 36” w
Media: Collage, ink print from a sockeye and oil paint on canvas
Sale price: Contact artist

m) Mature parvicapsula spore, which is the stage infective to the polychaete.
i) The invertebrate host, Manayunkia speciosa, is infected by the mature spore.
a) Tetractinomyxon actinospore is released from the coelom of the invertebrate host.
v) Vertebrate host, a salmonid fish in which the actinospore develops in the kidney to form a parvicapsula spore.

The Fraser River sockeye become infected with the parvicapsula parasite at the mouth of the Fraser. If the salmon do not spawn approximately 4 to 6 weeks after being infected, the parasite could potentially kill the fish prematurely. It is suspected that climate change could be partially responsible for the sockeye showing up at the river early and therefore becoming infected sooner. In 2006, this situation was exacerbated by the fact that the Adams River water levels were low and the temperature was high. As a result, the infected sockeye were not migrating from the Adams Lake to the river, and it was feared that they would die before spawning. Fortunately, the 2006 escapement to the Adams River was estimated at 1,593,786 spawners, which is less than half the record brood escapement of 3,738,273. However, it is similar to the 1986-2002 cycle average of 1,739,543.


Bower, Dr. Susan. Parasitologist, Scientist Emeritus, Pacific Biological Station, Nanaimo, BC

Jones, Dr. Simon. Salmonid immunology and parasitology. Pacific Biological Station, Nanaimo, BC

Kent, Dr. Michael L. Diseases of Seawater Netpen-Reared Salmonid Fishes in the Pacific Northwest. Department of Fisheries and Oceans, Nanaimo, 1992. pp.36-37

2006 Fraser River Late Run Sockeye Salmon, Preliminary Escapement Estimates
Andrew, J.H., and T.M. Webb. MS 1987. "
Review and assessment of adult sockeye salmon enumeration programs on the Fraser River". Prepared by Environmental and Social Systems Analysis Ltd. For the Department of Fisheries and Oceans.
Houtman, R., and B.P. Fanos, 2000. "Estimation of the 1995 Late Run Sockeye Salmon (Oncorhynchus nerka)". Escapement to the Adams River study area. Can. Manuscr. Rep. Fish. Aquat. Sci. 2533: 73p.