Great Lakes Environmental Directory Great Lakes Great Lakes environment Great Lakes grants exotic species water pollution water export drilling environment Great Lakes pollution Superior Michigan Huron Erie Ontario ecology Great Lakes issues wetlands Great Lakes wetlands Great Lakes Great Lakes environment Great Lakes watershed water quality exotic species Great Lakes grants water pollution water export oil gas drilling environment environmental Great Lakes pollution Lake Superior Lake Michigan Lake Huron Lake Erie Lake Ontario Great Lakes ecology Great Lakes issues Great Lakes wetlands Great Lakes Resources Great Lakes activist Great Lakes environmental organizations Great Lakes Aquatic Habitat air pollution alien species threatened rare endangered species ecological Great Lakes information Success Stories Great Lakes Directory Home/News Great Lakes Calendar Great Lakes jobs/volunteering Search Great Lakes Organizations Take Action! Contact Us Resources/Links Great Lakes Issues Great Lakes News Article About Us Networking Services

Great Lakes Article:

Fish-killing virus spreads, threatens fishing industry in Great Lakes
By John Flesher
Associated Press
Posted on ESPN Outdoors on January 26, 2007

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich.— A fast-spreading aquatic virus that threatens the Great Lakes fishing industry has been detected in Lake Huron for the first time, Michigan officials said Thursday.

The Department of Natural Resources said it had confirmed the presence of viral hemorrhagic septicema, or VHS, in fish samples from waters as far north as Cheboygan — only about 15 miles from where Lake Huron meets Lake Michigan.

VHS previously had been found in only two Great Lakes — Ontario and Erie — and in Lake St. Clair, which links Erie and Huron.

But officials have predicted the virus eventually would spread across the entire system, where the $4.5 billion fishery is a crucial segment of the economy.

How damaging the virus turns out to be will depend largely on whether fish develop immunity, said Kelley Smith, chief of the DNR's fisheries division.

The virus poses no danger to people but is usually deadly to fish. It targets some of the region's most popular sport and commercial species.

Analyses completed this week found VHS in whitefish and walleye, and in Chinook salmon from a DNR station, Smith said.

Originally a saltwater virus, VHS made its first known appearance in the Great Lakes in 2005, killing the likes of freshwater drum and muskellunge.

Cheboygan-area whitefish were collected in 2005 during a survey for bacterial kidney disease, Smith said. They were examined again more recently and found to have carried VHS.

How VHS arrived in the lakes is uncertain. But fishery managers say a likely culprit is ballast water dumped by ocean freighters, widely considered a leading source of exotic species in the lakes.

``These new discoveries are extremely unfortunate and further highlight the problems created by the constant introductions of new diseases from outside the Great Lakes region,'' DNR Director Rebecca Humphries said.

This information is posted for nonprofit educational purposes, in accordance with U.S. Code Title 17, Chapter 1,Sec. 107 copyright laws.
For more information go to: If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for
purposes of your own that go beyond "fair use," you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

Great Lakes environmental information

Return to Great Lakes Directory Home/ Site Map