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DNR issues emergency rules to curb lethal fish virus

US - Officials from the Wisconsin state Department of Natural Resources (DNR) have pulled up their socks to combat the potentially deadly viral hemorrhagic septicemia, a lethal fish virus that kills fish the same way Ebola virus kills people.

The deadly fish virus, viral hemorrhagic septicemia, or VHS previously found in Lake Erie and Lake Ontario was detected in the Lake Winnebago chain of lakes, the first such infection confirmed in inland Wisconsin waters, according to media reports Sunday.

Wisconsin DNR on Saturday reported that two freshwater drum fish or sheepshead from the Little Lake Butte des Morts in the Lake Winnebago Chain of Lakes have tested positive in preliminary analysis for VHS.

Little Lake Butte des Morts is part of the lower Fox River, which flows from Lake Winnebago to the bay of Green Bay.

DNR called the infection, which causes anemia and hemorrhaging in fish, a “major fish health crisis,” and said they are preparing for what could be a long-term battle with the disease.

"It hasn't wiped out fish populations, but that many species affected and that many that are dying, we're real concerned. This is a serious fish disease," said George Boronow, Wisconsin DNR.

The virus that had caused huge fish kills in several eastern Great Lakes in 2005 and 2006 is likely already in Lake Michigan and may be in Lake Superior and the Mississippi River, DNR said on its Website.

Source: The Money Times

the Fish Site Editor

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