Sunday, July 7, 2013

MASS FISH DIE-OFF: Unusually High Number Of Dead Fish Found Washed Ashore In Canandaigua Lake, New York?!

June 26, 2013 - UNITED STATES - An investigation is underway to learn why a greater-than-normal number of fish for this time of year are washing up on shore around Canandaigua Lake.

Dead fish are washing ashore on the north end of Canandaigua Lake but on Monday it wasn't keeping
people such as these playing with their dog at the small boat launch out of the water.
Jack Haley/Messenger Post Media

During spawning season it is typical to find dead fish washing up due to various stresses fish experience, such as in defending their turf and dealing with a rapid increase in temperature, said Canandaigua Lake Watershed Manager Kevin Olvany.

"The usual suspects" in Olvany's words are smaller fish like perch and sunfish. This season, he said, there appears to be a greater quantity of fish washing up of all varieties, which include larger fish — such as large bass. The situation warranted an investigation, Olvany said.

A recently deceased Sunfish washes ashore at the small boat launch at the north end of Canandaigua Lake.
Jack Haley/Messenger Post Media

A large fish washes up amonngst the large rocks on the north shore of Canandaigua Lake at Kershaw Park.
Jack Haley/Messenger Post Media

Over a dozen fish lay dead along with some garbage on the north shore of Canandaigua Lake along Kershaw Park.
Jack Haley/Messenger Post Media

Olvany was at Kershaw Park in Canandaigua on Monday looking over the situation, and he said other sections of the lake also appear to have more fish washing up. A fish sample has been sent to the state Department of Environmental Conservation for testing and results should be back soon, he said.

The DEC is having the fish tested for viral hemorrhagic septicemia (VHS) virus. A serious pathogen of fresh and saltwater fish, the rod-shaped virus affects fish of all size and age ranges. It does not pose any threat to human health, according to the DEC. The virus is causing a disease issue in the Great Lakes region of the United States and Canada; it can cause hemorrhaging of fish tissue, including internal organs, and can cause the death of infected fish, the DEC says. Once a fish is infected with VHS, there is no known cure.

Olvany said that even if the first test comes back negative for the virus, there will be further testing to confirm that. The virus was found in fish in Irondequoit Bay in May, Olvany said.

Paula Larivee, who walks regularly along Kershaw Park, said she was disturbed to see the number of big, dead fish — 12 inches or longer, she said — during a walk Sunday.

“When you walk there several days a week, you notice changes in the lake,” said Larivee. “This was alarming.” - MPN Now.