Viral hemorrhagic septicemia (VHS) virus was detected in 2005 in fish in Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River; it was detected in 2006 in Lake Erie and Conesus Lake. The virus seems to affect only fish.
In October 2006, the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) issued a federal order that prohibits the importation of certain species of live fish from Ontario and Quebec, as well as interstate movement of the same species from eight states, one of which is New York.
To date, VHS virus has not been found in trout or salmon from the waters noted above. Thirty-seven species of fish are included in the federal prohibition. They are: Atlantic cod, black crappie, bluegill, bluntnose minnow, coho salmon, chum salmon, emerald shiner, freshwater drum, gizzard shad, grayling, haddock, herring, Japanese flounder, largemouth bass, muskellunge, Pacific cod, northern pike, pink salmon, pumpkinseed, rainbow trout, redhorse sucker, rock bass, rockling, round goby, smallmouth bass, sprat, turbot, walleye, white bass, white perch, whitefish, and yellow perch.
Additional information on the Federal Order can be found at the APHIS website www.aphis.usda.gov/vs/aqua.
Advice to anglers and boaters on reducing the spread of VHS virus in New York State appears as regulations given at HTTP://www.dec.ny.gov/33072.html. The DEC telephone number is (518) 402-8920.
NOTE: It is very important that all live bait should be “certified” live bait. No other live fish should ever be transported from one body of water to another.