Agency says virus killed thousands of Lake St. Clair fish

Posted at 3:00 PM, May 01, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-01 15:00:38-04

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Officials say a recent outbreak of an invasive virus may have killed tens of thousands of fish in Lake St. Clair.

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources said Monday that tests have confirmed the kill resulted from viral hemorrhagic septicemia, which first appeared in the Great Lakes around 2006.

Gary Whelan of the DNR’s Fisheries Division says gizzard shad, bluegill, and black and white crappie have died.

The agency is investigating what triggered the outbreak.

Whelan says it should drop off as water temperatures rise above 60 degrees Fahrenheit. The virus doesn’t replicate as well in warmer waters.

He’s asking the public to continue reporting kills of more than 25 fish.

Boaters can help contain the virus by properly disposing of bait and not moving live fish between water bodies.