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Friday, December 03, 2010

The National Wild Fish Health Survey

The list is long, too long. The list is on the US Fish & Wildlife Service website and is dedicated to pathogens and diseases among wild fish populations. The fish these pathogens and diseases attack are among the most popular freshwater sport fish in the country; largemouth bass, trout, sunfish, salmon, perch catfish and many others.

The Fish & Wildlife Service tracks and follows the spread and infection of viruses like Infectious Pancreatic Necrosis Virus (IPNV), Viral Hemorrhagic Septicemia Virus (VHS), Largemouth Bass Virus (LMBV) and others. Bacterial Pathogens including Renibacterium salmoninarum (RS) or Bacterial Kidney Disease, Enteric Septicemia (ESC) and more. Parasites like the one that causes Whirling Disease, Myxobolus cerebralis is just one of the fish killing parasites the service also tracks.

Having a data base accessible to the public can alert us to when we're in waters harboring any of these fish killing diseases. Armed with this information we can take action against accidentally causing their spread to new locations by following the protocols of cleaning and disinfecting our equipment.

Take moment and check it out at the National Wild Fish Health Survey  Look up your home waters to see if there is something lurking there.  Since knowledge is the first and strongest defense we have, the more we can increase our awareness the stronger our fight against these diseases will be.  While you're at it check out Protect Your Waters  , a site for anglers and other recreational users who want to help stop aquatic nuisance species.

Please do the fish a favor and forward this to all your fishing friends so they too can join the battle in preventing the spread of fish diseases.