Lake watch: Deadly virus threatens bass populations

Category: News Release

 Feb 1st, 2019 by Keith Worrall  215

Modified Feb 1st, 2019 at 10:28 AM

A deadly fish virus previously affecting largemouth bass in southern Michigan waters has spread to smallmouth bass in northern Lower Peninsula inland lakes.

Michigan Department of Natural Resources identified largemouth bass virus in three counties bordering Lake Huron. A fish kill last fall in Iosco County’s Cedar Lake prompted studies of fish kill in Alpena County’s Beaver Lake and Montmorency’s Avalon Lake. The virus was discovered in smallmouth bass in both lakes. Downstate outbreaks of the disease in the early 2000s killed 10 to 20 percent of the adult largemouth bass exposed to the pathogen. The potential spread to northwest Michigan waters raises DNR and angler concerns about local bass fisheries.

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