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More Carp Deaths: KHV Spreads From Lake Mohave

by 5m Editor
26 June 2009, at 1:00am

ARIZONA, US - People visiting and living in Lake Havasu have been witnessing the sight of dead carp at the lake and the problem isnt likely to quickly vanish.

Arizona Game and Fish Department biologists believe the Koi Herpes Virus (KHV) that killed thousands of carp in Lake Mohave recently is the same culprit for the die-off at Lake Havasu. However, there will likely be additional testing to confirm this fact. A timeline for final results from the testing is unknown.

The KHV – which can impact carp as water temperatures warm in late spring – impacts gill function and can lead to suffocation and/or secondary infections in carp, koi, and goldfish. While there were some bacterial issues with the Lake Mohave carp, lab tests from the Washington Animal Disease Diagnostic Lab indicated KHV was the primary cause of the die-off.

KHV is not a threat to public health, and it does not affect other wildlife. Recent rumors of other species dying off are unfounded at this point in time.

“Just like with any living thing, fish die,” said Zen Mocarski, information and education program manager with the Game and Fish Kingman office. “There have been other species found along the shoreline, but those numbers represent only the normal amount that would be found at any given time.”

KHV is viewed as the likely cause of the die-off at Lake Havasu because carp remain the only species impacted and Lake Havasu is downriver from Lake Mohave, where this event originated. Locations downriver from Lake Havasu may be impacted as this virus runs its course through the river system.

In the middle of May, carp began washing up on shorelines along Lake Mohave and within a week the numbers began to multiply. Shortly afterward, a small number of carp were found dead at Lake Havasu.

That number ballooned in recent days and dead fish have littered the shoreline, with the locations driven primarily by prevailing winds.

“There’s little that can be done when we start talking about these numbers,” Mocarski said. “While BLM and Arizona State Parks have worked to keep their segments of the shoreline clean, more carp are washing up each day.

5m Editor