Updated: Environmental Emergency Updates: Part 2 – Ebola-like Virus Killing Great Lakes Fish

May 14, 2007 Update:  "It is a major fish health crisis now in Wisconsin."

- Wisconsin Dept. of Natural Resources

"VHS is catastrophic certainly within the context of the Great Lakes ecosystem and the fishery resources. As a fish health problem, it is in fact catastrophic."

- Jim Winton, Ph.D., USGS Fish Health

Updated map: Lake Ontario, Lake Erie, Lake St. Clair, and now Lake Winnebago in eastern Wisconsin (all highlighted with red in above map) have had metric tons of fresh water fish die from lethal viral hemorrhagic septicemia in 2005 through 2006; first die-offs of 2007 have now been reported to USGS. Authorities are trying to keep the virus from spreading to the other Great Lakes and into the Mississippi River (red underline left) drainage that extends south to New Orleans.
Updated map: Lake Ontario, Lake Erie, Lake St. Clair, and now Lake Winnebago in eastern Wisconsin (all highlighted with red in above map) have had metric tons of fresh water fish die from lethal viral hemorrhagic septicemia in 2005 through 2006; first die-offs of 2007 have now been reported to USGS. Authorities are trying to keep the virus from spreading to the other Great Lakes and into the Mississippi River (red underline left) drainage that extends south to New Orleans.
Destruction of several million fish at the Makah National Fish Hatchery following initial discovery of viral hemorrhagic septicemia virus at the facility. Image courtesy USGS.
Destruction of several million fish at the Makah National Fish Hatchery following initial discovery of viral hemorrhagic septicemia virus at the facility. Image courtesy USGS.
 Skin hemorrhages (bleeding) on a fish infected with Viral Hemorrhagic Septicemia virus (VHSv) © Jim Winton, Ph.D., USGS, Seattle, and Paul Bowser, Ph.D., Cornell Univ., Ithaca.
Skin hemorrhages (bleeding) on a fish infected with Viral Hemorrhagic Septicemia virus (VHSv) © Jim Winton, Ph.D., USGS, Seattle, and Paul Bowser, Ph.D., Cornell Univ., Ithaca.

Return to Part 1

May 14, 2007, Update:  The deadly VHS virus (viral hemorrhagic septicemia) has now also been found in the Lake Winnebago chain of lakes - the first VHS infection confirmed in Wisconsin inland waters. The Wisconsin Dept. of Natural Resources confirmed on May 12, 2007, that two freshwater drum fish, or sheepshead, from the Little Lake Butte des Morts tested positive for VHS and describes the situation as "a major fish health crisis in Wisconsin."

 

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