VHS not spreading to inland lakesThe deadly fish virus VHS has not spread to inland lakes of Wisconsin, the Department of Natural Resources reports.
By: Mike Simonson/Wisconsin Public Radio, Superior Telegram
The deadly fish virus VHS has not spread to inland lakes of Wisconsin, the Department of Natural Resources reports.
The chance that viral hemorrhagic septicemia can spread inland increased after it was found in Lake Superior last year, and two years after it was turned up in Lake Michigan and Lake Winnebago.
Cathy Kruger, owner of Minnow Jim’s Bait and Tackle on Nelson Lake near Hayward, says “so far, so good”, as VHS has the potential to affect their business.
“People won’t come here fishing if our fish are diseased,” she says.
Kruger says property and resort owners volunteer at boat landings to make sure invasive species don’t spread.
Wisconsin Fisheries Director Mike Staggs says they need local help like that, and they’re still trying to get the word out so people keep invasive species at bay.
“You don’t move water … you don’t move fish … clean off boats and trailers,” Staggs says. “For the most part I think people are willing to cooperate, but there are always a few people who are out there and at some point, if we have laws on the books, they need to be enforced.”
So far, Staggs says they haven’t found any big fish kills characteristic of VHS. But he says it takes five years for the disease to show its full affect on a fish population.
Tests were done at Lake Monona, Lac Courte Oreilles, Shawano Lake, the Brule River Flowage and Rock Lake.