Thousands of black crappies in Lake DuBay found dead from virus

thousands-of-black-crappies-in-lake-dubay-found-dead-from-virus

Thousands of black crappies on Lake DuBay and the Stevens Point Flowage are dead of a virus and wildlife officials are trying to figure out why the disease is affecting just one species.

Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources biologists and fisheries technicians learned of the fish kill April 25 and determined that the cause appears to be a virus primarily affecting 3-year-old black crappies.

(If it was a widespread problem) other fish would be dying,” DNR fisheries biologist Tom Meronek said. “This is just limited to crappies. We’ve seen cases on other bodies of water (in Wisconsin). This might be a similar virus.”

The symptoms are not consistent with viral hemorrhagic septicemia, or VHS, a virus that has sickened or killed large numbers of fish in the Great Lakes, according to the DNR. Wisconsin has mandated in recent years that all water must be drained from boats to prevent the spread of VHS and other viruses and diseases.

Live fish were taken from both bodies of water for testing, Meronek said. It will be several weeks before the DNR Fish Health Lab in Madison has results.

The sickened fish aren’t likely to bite anglers’ hooks, Meronek said. They likely will have lesions or look sick, and he doesn’t advise eating them.

In Lake DuBay, the kill has been widespread and has covered many areas of the water with concentrations of dead fish, particularly along Seagull Drive in the town of Knowlton and extending south. In the Stevens Point Flowage, fish were reported dying Sunday. The fish kill there also is widespread and affects crappie in the 3- to 4-year-old range. Biologists also are trying to determine why some of the fish have a fungus on their dorsal fins. (WausauDailyHerald)

 

 

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