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Tuesday, January 09, 2007

VHS Threat to Fisheries

If you have been fishing in the Great Lakes Basin, which includes all tributaries to the Great Lakes, it is important that you clean your equipment, especially waders and watercraft, before you enter any other water bodies.

Viral Hemorrhagic Septicemia (VHS) virus is a real and current threat to fresh and salt water fisheries. All anglers should be concerned about this danger that, so far, has been isolated to the Great Lakes Basin in freshwater environments. In saltwater, the virus has been found in the Pacific Northwest and in the North Atlantic.

Here are a few websites where you can get more information about this fish killing virus:

USDA Emerging Disease Notice
Viral Hemorrhagic Septicemia in the Great Lakes Region
NOAA VHS Factsheet
Michigan DNR Factsheet

I'd like to thank Chuck Murray, Fisheries Biologist, Pennsylvania Fish nad Boat Commission's Lake Erie Resarch Unit who has provided some of the links above and has kept me updated on this disease.