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Also: Lake St. Clair
  Viral Hemorrhagic Septicemia (VHS)
in the Great Lakes Region

What's New | Overview | Distribution Maps | Studies/Management Plans | Federal Resources | State/Provincial Resources
 
Current invaders:
Crustaceans: Rusty Crayfish | Spiny Water Flea
Fish: Goby (Round) | Goby (Tubenose) | Rudd | Ruffe | Sea Lamprey | White Perch
Mollusks: Quagga Mussel | Zebra Mussel
Plants: Curly-leaf Pondweed | Eurasian Watermilfoil | Phragmites (non-native) | Purple Loosestrife
Viruses: Viral Hemorrhagic Septicemia Virus (VHSv)
 
Potential invaders:
Fish: Asian Carp

[Invasive species home page]

 
What's New
Fishing rules aim to curb spread of disease in baitfish
The Associated Press (4/20)
The state of Michigan has new fishing regulations that are designed to curb the spread of fish diseases and fight invasive species.

Michigan State University assists Michigan DNR in illegal bait investigation
Lansing State Journal (11/19)
Michigan State University assisted the Michigan DNR in an investigation of uncertified bait that netted a $2,000 settlement.

Documentary being shot in Rhinelander, Wis. on controlling Great Lakes invasive species
WTAQ - Rhinelander, WI (8/8)
A Chicago-based film crew was in Rhinelander, Wis. this weekend to shoot part of a one hour documentary on the efforts to control invasive species in the Great Lakes.

Brule Hatchery could close, others may open
Ashland Current (5/17)
A study released this week on Wisconsin’s 17 fish hatcheries says it will take $155 million to moderenize them.

Efforts to bolster lake herring populations in Lake Huron may be stunted by deadly disease
Great Lakes Echo (12/8)
Although Michigan officials want to bring lake herring back in Lake Huron, there’s a new concern – the fish are highly susceptibility to an emerging fatal disease: Viral haemorrhagic septicaemia virus.

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Overview
VHSvViral Hemorrhagic Septicemia (VHS) is a viral fish pathogen that has invaded the Great Lakes, threatening native fish populations. As its name suggests, this is a serious systematic disease that often causes fish to hemorrhage which can result in individuals bleeding to death. Typically found in marine fish, VHS was found in the Great Lakes in 2005 and 2006 with the occurrence of large fish kills in lakes Huron, St. Clair, Erie, Ontario, Michigan, and the St. Lawrence River. VHS-infected fish died by the thousands, including muskies, freshwater drum, yellow perch, gizzard shad, redhorse, bluegills, black crappie and round gobies. Other species of fish—Chinook salmon, walleye, lake whitefish, white bass, rock bass, smallmouth bass, emerald shiners, spottail shiners, burbot, northern pike, channel catfish, lake trout, rainbow/steelhead trout, and white sucker—also were infected, but did not die in large numbers.

This viral invader is not a threat to people handling or eating infected fish, but can be deadly to more than 15 fish species and can infect at least another 10 species in the Great Lakes basin. This is the first time a virus has affected so many different species across such a wide range of Great Lakes fish families.

Photo: Mohamed Faisal, Ph.D., Michigan State University

VHSv
For complete overview, identification and management:
View full, print-ready factsheet

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Distribution Maps
Geographic information on the location of aquatic invasive species sightings in the United States is made available through the U.S. Geological Survey, Nonindigenous Aquatic Species (NAS) program.

NAS distribution maps for VHS virus

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Studies, Assessments and Management Plans
Emergency Prevention and Response Plan for Viral Hemorrhagic Septicemia (March 2008)
National Park Service and Grand Portage Band of Lake Superior Chippewa
This plan is focused on (1) preventing VHS contamination of the waters of the four units of the National Park Service located in the Lake Superior basin and the Grand Portage Indian Reservation; (2) detecting the introduction of VHS; and (3) responding to VHS detection and outbreaks.

Evaluation of the Efficacy of Iodophor Disinfection of Walleye and Northern Pike Eggs to Eliminate Viral Hemorrhagic Septicemia Virus – Fact Sheet (January 2009)
U.S. Geological Survey
This factsheet presents the results of a study that assessed the effectiveness of chemical disinfection for eliminating VHSv (strain IVb) from fertilized eggs of walleye and northern pike intentionally challenged with VHSv following egg fertilization.

Focus on Fish Health: VHS Viral Hemorrhagic Septicemia
Iowa State University, U.S. Department of Agriculture - Animal and Plant Health Inspection Program
Launched as part of a national outreach campaign to educate the public about VHS, and to inform individuals involved in recreation and aquaculture about the simple precautions that can be taken to help prevent the spread of the virus.

Molecular Epidemiology of Viral Hemorrhagic Septicemia Virus in the Great Lakes Region (January 2008)
U.S. Geological Survey
The purpose of this factsheet is to review the results from molecular analyses that have added to our understanding about the distribution and spread of VHS.

Surveillance for Viral Hemorrhagic Septicemia Virus in Wild Fish in Canada (March 2008)
Canadian Food Inspection Agency
The CFIA implemented a 2-year bilateral surveillance of wild fish in Canada for the presence of VHS virus in the spring of 2007.

VHS Management in Ontario
Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources
This site provides a map of VHS-positive Canadian waters (Lakes Ontario, Huron, and Erie), as well as links to current management actions and regulations aimed at slowing and preventing the further spread of VHS.

Viral Hemorrhagic Septicemia in the Great Lakes - Emerging Disease Notice (July 2006)
U.S. Department of Agriculture – Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service
This Emerging Disease Notice describes the current status of viral hemorrhagic septicemia in the United States, focusing on the 2005 and 2006 outbreaks in the Great Lakes area.

Viral Hemorrhagic Septicemia in the Great Lakes Region – Industry Alert (October 2006)
U.S. Department of Agriculture – Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service
This document serves as an advisory in industry describing the virus and providing information on how to protect facilities (e.g. aquaculture) from VHS.

Viral Hemorrhagic Septicemia in the Great Lakes Region: Management and Science Needs Workshop Proceedings (September 2008)
ESSA Technologies
Priorities are identified for preventative measures to limit further spread of VHS, and needs are addressed for increased surveillance, monitoring, and information sharing among affected jurisdictions.

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U.S. and Canadian Federal Resources
Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service- September 2008 Interim Rule (73 FR 52173)
U.S. Department of Agriculture

Aquaculture Disease Information - Viral Hemorrhagic Septicemia
U.S. Department of Agriculture – Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service

Fact Sheet: Viral Hemorrhagic Septicemia in Various Great Lakes Fish Species
National Aquatic Animal Health Program - Fisheries and Oceans Canada

FAQ's: Viral Hemorrhagic Septicemia in Various Great Lakes Fish Species
National Aquatic Health Program - Fisheries and Oceans Canada

National Fish Hatchery System Addressing VHS
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Questions and Answers: Viral Hemorrhagic Septicemia Interim Rule - Fact Sheet
U.S. Department of Agriculture – Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service

VHS – The Viral Invader
Great Lakes Commission

Viral Hemorrhagic Septicemia Fact Sheet
U.S. Geological Survey - Nonindigenous Aquatic Species

Viral Hemorrhagic Septicemia: Species Profile
U.S. Department of Agriculture - National Invasive Species Information Center

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State and Provincial Resources
Animal and Plant Health - Viral Hemorrhagic Septicemia
Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture

Briefing Paper: Viral Hemorrhagic Septicemia (VHS)
Michigan Department of Natural Resources

Fish Disease - VHS
Michigan Department of Natural Resources

Fish Diseases - VHS
Michigan Sea Grant

Fishing is at risk, but you can help!
Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission

Flyer: Attention Anglers
Michigan Department of Natural Resources

Illinois Emergency VHSv Rules 07-2008
Illinois Department of Natural Resources

Indiana Entry Health Requirements
Indiana State Board of Animal Health

Indiana State Board of Animal Health VHS Pre-Entry Permit Requirements
Indiana Department of Natural Resources

La septicémie hémorragique virale au Québec en 2008 (French fact sheet)
Aire Faunique Communautaire du Lac St. Pierre

Name of the condition: Viral Hemorrhagic Septicemia (VHS)
Minnesota Department of Natural Resources

Poster: Help Stop the Spread of VHS
Pennsylvania Sea Grant

Spread of Viral Hemorrhagic Septicemia (VHS) in the Great Lakes Region, 2003-2007
Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy

VHS and Permit Procedures for the Interstate Shipment of Fish
Indiana Department of Natural Resources

VHS and You: Keeping Wisconsin's Waters Healthy
Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources

VHS in Great Lakes Fish
Wisconsin Sea Grant

VHS News Item
Indiana Department of Natural Resources

VHS Virus Fact Sheet
Minnesota Sea Grant

Viral Hemorrhagic Septicemia (VHS) - VHS Management Zone
Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters - Invading Species Awareness Program

Viral Hemorrhagic Septicemia (VHS) in New York
New York Department of Environmental Conservation

Viral Hemorrhagic Septicemia (VHS) in Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission

Viral Hemorrhagic Septicemia (VHS) in the Great Lakes
Michigan Sea Grant

Viral Hemorrhagic Septicemia - Help Prevent the Spread of this Disease in Ontario!
Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources
This website provides comprehensive information on VHS in Ontario, including management zones and fact sheets for several stakeholder groups including anglers, aquarists, fish farmers, property owners and bait fish harvesters.

Viral Hemorrhagic Septicemia Brochure
Minnesota Department of Natural Resources

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Updated: December 11, 2017
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