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Largemouth bass virus confirmed in other lakes in Michigan




LANSING, Mich. – The largemouth bass virus was discovered in two more lakes in the northern lower peninsula of Michigan after a first discovery last October in Cedar Lake (Iosco County).

This time, LMBV was found in Beaver Lake (Alpena County) during the investigation of a fishery and in Avalon Lake (Montmorency County) in small perch. These latest discoveries show that the virus is spreading north to Michigan.

Prior to this case, the virus had effects on adult larval neck in the early 2000s in southern Lake Michigan. In these lakes, the pathogen killed 1

0 to 20 percent of Largemouth's larger bass at its first exposure, and populations recovered within a few years. The virus was found in other species, including smallmouth bass, bluegill and black crappie, in this part of the state. Bluegill and Black Crappie are known carriers but do not die from this virus.

"The large-larval pelvic virus is likely to endanger the Beaver Lake's smallpox immune system, rendering secondary bacterial infections deadly and the virus a direct factor in fish mortality," said Gary Whelan, DNR Fisheries Research Director of the Department. "As these latest discoveries are located on the northern edge of the LMBV site, we may see different responses than those documented in southern Michigan."

LMBV is one of more than 100 naturally occurring viruses that infest fish and is closely associated with viruses found in frogs and other amphibians. The origin and propagation methods are unknown, but anglers are considered likely routes of transmission. Moving live, infected fish from one body of water to another or using contaminated or unclean equipment or boats in uninfected waters can easily spread the virus. It is not known that LMBV infects humans, and infected fish is safe to eat when fully cooked.

LMBV usually causes the killing of fish in times when fish are most heavily used. Potential stressors include very hot weather, increased sport fishing and possibly water weed or other treatments performed in hot weather. Everything that can be done to minimize the stress on fish reduces the effects of this virus and subsequent fish kills.

There is little evidence that a fish has LMBV. The virus was found in lakes where no disease or fish death was reported. Affected fish seem to be normal even though they are lethargic, swimming slowly and less responsive to their environment. Dying fish are often seen near the surface and have difficulty staying upright. In the internal examination, infected fish usually have inflated and yellowish swim bladders.

Largemouth bass virus can not be eradicated from lakes and infected fish can not be treated. The best way to stop the virus is by anglers and boaters who clean their equipment neatly and do their part to help prevent the spread. Simple steps are:

  • Cleaning all fishing tackle between rides.
  • No movement of fish or fish parts from one body of water to another.
  • Careful handling of the bass if you want to let it go for a long time if you want to release it.
  • Minimizing the targeting of pools with large basins in very hot weather.
  • Report dead or dying adult cymbal pools, especially if they are 25+, can be made online at Michigan.gov/EyesInTheField. [19659015 × For more information on fish diseases, visit the DNR Michigan website .gov / Fish Health.

    Copyright 2019 by WDIV ClickOnDetroit – All rights reserved.


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