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Viral Hemorrhagic Septicemia (VHS)
Fishing is at risk, but you can help!
Fight the spread of VHS disease
The Situation

Viral Hemorrhagic Septicemia (VHS) is a disease affecting fish in the Great Lakes watershed and it is spreading to inland waters.

The disease can be spread to other waterways through live baitfish, fresh fish eggs, live fish, bilge and bait bucket water and uncleaned fishing gear or boats. Although fish may appear healthy, they can still carry and spread VHS.

How to Identify the Disease

Infected fish may exhibit varying degrees of hemorrhaging, but typical external symptoms include hemorrhaging and redness at the base of fins, around the eyes, red patches of skin on or near the head and a swollen abdomen.

VHS infected fish VHS infected fish
 
What You Can Do To Help
  • Do not transport leftover baitfish, fresh fish eggs or live fish to other waterways.
  • Empty live wells and bilges drawn from the body of water back into that same body of water before leaving.
  • Dump bait bucket water on dry land after fishing and do not release bait into water at end of fishing trip.
  • Thououghly clean, dry and disinfect all fishing gear, boats and boat trailers before fishing a different lake or stream.
  • Report any fish kills to your local PA Fish & Boat Commission Office
Empty live wells and bilges before leaving
Empty live wells and bilges drawn from the body of water back into that same body of water before leaving
Clean your gear
Thououghly clean, dry and disinfect all fishing gear, boats and boat trailers before fishing a different lake or stream
 
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