Thursday, August 12, 2010

WI Reports No Inland Spread Of VHS Fish Virus

Aug 10: The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR) reports that the potentially deadly viral hemorrhagic septicemia virus (VHS or VHSV) fish virus did not spread to any inland Wisconsin waters that were tested for the virus in 2010. None of the fish that WDNR fisheries biologist collected from nearly 70 lakes and rivers this spring tested positive for VHS. Mike Staggs, Wisconsin's fisheries director said, "We're pleased that VHS hasn't spread inland and we appreciate the efforts that anglers and boaters have made to keep Wisconsin's fish healthy. These results show that taking the prevention steps can contain the disease as well as help prevent the spread of other aquatic invasive species."

    Earlier this year, Cornell University researchers reported finding VHS in Lake Superior fish collected in summer 2009 [See WIMS 2/3/10], but no fish kills were evident in that lake in 2009 or 2010 because of VHS, and none of Wisconsin's 2010 testing suggested the virus had spread from that massive lake to inland lakes or streams. Staggs said, "The good news is we assumed VHS was in Lake Superior when we developed the prevention rules in 2007, and as result, inland lakes and rivers were protected."

    VHS can infect several dozen fish species in Wisconsin and can cause them to bleed to death; a recent Michigan State University study shows that muskellunge are most susceptible, followed by largemouth bass, yellow perch, rainbow trout, brook trout, brown trout, Chinook salmon, and Coho salmon. The virus was first detected in Wisconsin in May 2007, when dead fish collected from the Lake Winnebago and Lake Michigan systems were tested and were positive for the virus. Lake Michigan fish again tested positive for the virus in 2008 and 2009.

    Access a release from WDNR with links to more information (click here).

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Kudos to the residents and visitors, who fish and boat in Wisconsin’s lakes. They clearly have become steward of their environment, including their lakes and waterways and have helped contain the spread of VHS and other invasive organisms and species, just by following some simple steps:
• Do not move fish between water sources
• Buy bait from reliable sources
• Do not dispose of fish or by-products, including unused bait, in any body of water
o Dispose of unused fish or fish remains in a secure trash area.
• Do not transfer water between locations or sources
o Drain all water, including bilge water, ballast tanks, live wells, coolers, before leaving the water source.
• Clean mud or debris from vehicles and equipment when you move them between water sources
o This includes boats, recreational watercraft, trailers, any equipment and footwear.

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Fishing Femme