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Bone Lake Protection: Invasive Species:

Viral Hemorrhagic Septicemia (VHS)

Viral Hemorrhagic Septicemia (VHS) is a deadly fish virus and an invasive species that is threatening Wisconsin's fish. VHS was diagnosed for the first time ever in the Great Lakes as the cause of large fish kills in lakes Huron, St. Clair, Erie, Ontario, and the St. Lawrence River in 2005 and 2006. Thousands of muskies, walleye, lake whitefish, freshwater drum, yellow perch, gizzard shad, redhorse and round gobies died. Many Chinook salmon, white bass, emerald shiners, smallmouth bass, bluegill, black crappie, burbot, and northern pike were diseased but did not die in large numbers.

VHS is not a threat to people who handle infected fish or want to eat their catch, but it is a threat to the more than 25 species it can kills.Anglers can continue to enjoy catching and eating their catch because the VHS virus has never been associated with human illness since first being discovered in European fish decades ago (Department of Health and Family Services, May 2007).
Test results to date show that VHS has only been detected in fish from the Lake Winnebago system, Lake Michigan and Green Bay and hasn't spread more widely in Wisconsin, as originally feared. Those results suggest there's a very real hope that VHS can be kept out of most of Wisconsin's lakes and rivers, where it could prove a serious threat to a broad range of native fish.

It's important that everyone do their part to prevent the spread of VHS and help keep Wisconsin's waters healthy. Anglers and boaters can find out more information and help keep VHS out of Wisconsin's waters by visiting

You can help slow the spread of VHS and other invasive species by practicing the following precautions.
• Anglers can take minnows bought from a Wisconsin bait dealer (which includes Wisconsin registered fish farms) away from a lake or river and use them again on that same waterbody.
• Anglers can also take minnows bought from a Wisconsin bait dealer (which includes Wisconsin registered fish farms) away from a waterbody and use them elsewhere if no lake or river water was added to the bait container.
In both of these instances, you can move the amount of water needed to keep the minnows alive, up to 2 gallons. No other fish may be held in the minnow container.
o Drain all water from bilges, bait buckets, live wells, and other containers at the landing
o Clean plants and other debris from your boat before launching boats and leaving landings
More information