In a recently released report, the Maryland Department of Natural Resources announced that of 10 bass sampled from the Pocomoke River, six tested positive for the virus, reports DelmarvaNow.
“We hadn’t tested for it yet in the Pocomoke River, so over the past year we took some samples, and six of the 10 individual fish we sampled had Largemouth Bass Virus (LMBV),” Joseph Love, the tidal bass manager for Maryland’s Department of Natural Resources, told DelmarvaNow.
“It’s not the first time we have found it in Maryland. But we are trying to report it as we sample rivers and determine its occurrence, its frequency and how many individuals in our sample have it.”
Mr Love said his department has found LMBV in the Potomac River, as well as the Patuxent, the Susquehanna, the Northeast and the Choptank rivers. It has also observed fish with the disease in other reservoirs around the state.
“It is not an uncommon virus, and it can be transmitted by many species of fish,” Mr Love told the newspaper. “It’s a waterborne virus, so it can just exist in the water. It’s a pretty tough organism.”
Anglers might suspect a fish has LMBV because it causes the bass to swim “lazily” and “haphazardly” near the surface of the water.