emergency rules to limit spread of fish disease
Published November 21, 2006
ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) _ State conservation officials have
issued emergency rules against taking bait fish from many
New York waterways in an effort to prevent the spread
of a deadly fish disease.
The state Department of Environmental Conservation on
Tuesday said the regulation takes effect immediately.
It prohibits commercial collection of bait fish from state
waters where viral hemorrhagic septicemia has been confirmed
_ Lake Ontario, Lake Erie, Conesus Lake and the St. Lawrence
River _ as well as tributaries.
Relatively common in continental Europe and Japan, the
virus causes internal bleeding in fish but is believed
to pose no threat to humans.
The DEC, in cooperation with the College of Veterinary
Medicine at Cornell, is sampling waters across the state,
including all waters used as sources of brood stock for
DEC hatcheries. Agency spokeswoman Maureen Wren said so
far VHS has been confirmed only in the four waterways.
The emergency rules also limit personal possession to
100 bait fish, while generally restricting their use to
the waters they were taken from.
Also, fish for release into state waters must be inspected
and certified to be free of VHS and other serious diseases.
On Oct. 24, the U.S. Department of Agriculture prohibited
importing from Ontario and Quebec and interstate movement
of live fish from eight states bordering the Great Lakes,
including New York, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota,
Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.