Saturday, January 29, 2011

Thousands of dead fish found in Erie, St. Clair

TRAVERSE CITY — Officials say cold weather and a fish virus likely are to blame for thousands of dead gizzard shad found recently in Lakes Erie and St. Clair, the St. Clair River and the Detroit River.

The Detroit Free Press and The Detroit News report that the weather and viral hemorrhagic septicemia, or VHS, are suspected in the fish deaths. Researchers from Michigan State University and the University of Toledo took samples of dead shad Thursday and Friday that showed signs of the fish virus.

Shad deaths are typical in the winter. It's expected to take a month to determine whether the fish had VHS.

Although not dangerous for humans, the virus has previously caused large fish kills in Lakes Ontario, Erie and Huron. It also has turned up in Lake Michigan. Source...