Deadly fish virus reaches Wisconsin lake

May 15, 2007

State biologists weren't sure how a deadly fish virus would affect the fish population of Wisconsin's Lake Winnebago system.

Fishermen feared the virus, which has killed hundreds of sheepshead, would kill the lake system's most popular game fish, the walleye.

"I'm worried because, inevitably, it'll wipe out fish," Randy Vandezande, who fishes about 75 days a year, told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

The virus, viral hemorrhagic septicemia, was found in Lake Huron in 2005. In 2006, it had spread to Lake Erie and then to an inland New York lake, the Journal Sentinel reported.

"There are a lot of anglers who fish in Lake Erie and Lake Huron and also in Winnebago," Mike Staggs, fisheries director for the state Department of Natural Resources told the Journal Sentinel. "If anything, it underscores the fact of just how detrimental it is when invasive species are transported into other lakes."

Copyright 2007 by United Press International

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