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Fish virus reaches Lake Michigan

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New Richmond, 54017
New Richmond News
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New Richmond Wisconsin 127 South Knowles Avenue 54017

The fish-killing VHS virus has been found in Lake Michigan for the first time.

The state Department of Natural Resources confirmed Thursday that a small-mouth bass near Sturgeon Bay tested positive for viral hemorrhagic septicemia. And so did a brown trout near Algoma

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Mike Staggs, Fisheries' management director, says it's disappointing.

But while there's no evidence yet of a large fish kill, he says the disease has probably taken a solid hold in Lake Michigan.

VHS came to America from Europe a few years ago. But until this month, Lake Huron was as far west as it got.

Two weeks ago, VHS was found on Lake Winnebago and its Butte Des Morts tributary.

The virus does not affect humans but it can kill 37 types of native fish.

For that reason, the DNR has approved emergency rules that ban people from moving live fish and bait from the Great Lakes, the Mississippi River and the Lake Winnebago system.

Also, boaters must thoroughly clean their craft once they leave the water.

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