VHS fish-kill in New York State – 07/14/2007

  • December 6, 2013 at 9:17 pm #1684

    “…seems to have subsided for now…” (Whew, that’s a relief) –MC

    Federal lab confirms VHS caused fish kill
    Saturday, July 14, 2007By Dave FiguraOutdoors editor
    Federal researchers have confirmed that a large fish kill of rock bass and smallmouth bass on Skaneateles Lake this spring was the result of the fish being infected with VHS (viral hemorrhagic septicema).

    Intitial positive test results from Cornell University researchers last month were sent for a second look to a federal lab in Seattle, Wash. The lab is operated by the U.S. Geological Survey.

    Dan Bishop, a regional fisheries manager for the state Department of Environmental Conservation, confirmed the latest report Friday and said the fish kill, which results in hundreds of dead fish on the lake’s northern end, seems to have subsided for now.

    “The rock bass (in particular) took it on the chin,” he said. “All we can do for now is continue to monitor it.”

    The disease causes fish to hemorrhage and destroys the organs that make blood cells. The virus has been identified in 20 various freshwater species largely in the Great Lakes and resulted in large fish kills where it has been found. It is not a health risk for humans.

    Fear over its spread has resulted in new regulations by the DEC governing the transportation of bait minnows. Fishermen who possess minnows and lack a receipt from a bait store indicating the bait is VHS-free risk a ticket.

    Dave Figura can be reached at 470-3066 or dfigura@syracuse.com.


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