Wednesday, May 19, 2010


A ProMED-mail post

ProMED-mail is a program of the
International Society for Infectious Diseases

Date: Tue 18 May 2010
Source:, The Post-Standard report [edited]

The state Department of Environmental Conservation [DEC] is
investigating a report of a "fish kill" on Skaneateles Lake. An
unnamed property owner called the DEC Tuesday [18 May 2010], noting
an appreciable number of mostly dead rock bass, along with a few bass
and perch, on the bottom of the lake at its northern end. More than 2
dozen dead fish could be seen from the Skaneateles village pier.

A total of 10 rock bass, one smallmouth bass, and a small perch were
collected by DEC officials and sent off to Cornell University for
testing. It's too early at this point to say what is killing the
fish, said Paul Bowser, a professor of aquatic animal medicine at the
school's Veterinary College. The fish will be tested for parasites,
viruses, bacteria, and other possible causes, he said.

During the spring of 2007, Cornell and federal officials confirmed a
large fish kill of rock bass and smallmouth bass on Skaneateles Lake
was caused by VHS (viral hemorrhagic septicemia), a deadly fish-killing virus.

There has been no evidence of the disease in the lake since then. The
disease causes fish to hemorrhage and destroys the organs that make
blood cells. The virus has been identified in 20 various freshwater
species largely in the Great Lakes and resulted in large fish kills
where it has been found. It is not a health risk for humans.

Fear over its spread, though, has resulted in regulations by the DEC
governing the transportation of bait minnows. Fishermen who possess
minnows and lack a receipt from a bait store indicating the bait is
VHS-free risk a ticket.

[Byline: David Figura]

Communicated by:

[This is not a novel event. It was reported in Skaneateles Lake in
2007; see ProMED 20070622.2012.

Skaneateles Lake is in the Finger Lakes region of central New York
state. For a description of the lake, go to
A map can be seen at
The state of New York can be located on the HealthMap/ProMED-mail
interactive map at
. - Mod.MHJ]

[see also:
Viral hemorrhagic septicemia, fish - USA (03): (Great Lakes) 20100510.1524
Viral hemorrhagic septicemia, fish - USA (02): Lake Superior 20100415.1219
Viral hemorrhagic septicemia, fish - USA: (Lake Superior) 20100130.0325]
Viral hemorrhagic septicemia, fish - USA (NY) 20070622.2012]

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