A DEADLY virus that can kill carp had a late surge this year with seven fisheries hit at the start of autumn.

Koi herpesvirus kicked in later this year, nearly a month after the first incident of 2018 was reported.

But once it got going, details of cases emerged. This year’s overall tally of 16 koi herpesvirus breakouts so far is still below the 28 of last year.

Noted bream and carp match and pleasure venue Stanborough Lake, near Welwyn Garden City in Hertfordshire, was amongst the latest to hit.

Also getting koi herpesvirus (KHV) was Abingdon Pits in Oxfordshire; Denne Farm in West Sussex; Harry’s Fishery in Lancashire; Sivyers Lake in Middlesex,;Froghall Fisheries in Lincolnshire and Warwickshire’s Bishops Bowl.

Fish health inspector Joshua Gray, at the Fish Health Inspectorate at The Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science, explained the situation.

Joshua said:  “The first case of KHV was late this year due to the cool weather.

“Initial controls have been placed on the latest affected sites to prevent further spread of this disease and the FHI are currently assessing the extent of the outbreaks and the options available for the control of the disease.”

You can help stop koi herpesvirus

Joshua continued: “KHV can lead to mortality rates of 100 per cent fish loss. Current water temperatures are within the range for outbreaks to occur.

“As always anglers can minimise the risk of KHV spread by practicing good bio-security of completely drying out all nets, slings and mats.

“Please inform the FHI immediately on 01305 206700 if you witness or hear of any carp mortalities.

“All mortality reports are investigated, and all information provided is kept anonymous. It is your legal obligation to notify the FHI if you suspect KHV.

“Affected carp may appear weak and/or lethargic, display erratic swimming, show sunken eyes and lesions/patches of dead tissue on the gills. The quicker we are informed, the faster we can act,” added Joshua.

But the good news for fisheries is that once the water temperature cools, any infected venue that hasn’t had a fish kill could escape unscathed.

Independent fishery scientist Ian Wellby of Blue Roof Ltd, explained: “The virus appears to lie dormant over winter, doesn’t always return as a mortality the next year but it appears to be retained in the population. So that is why there is the need for good bio-scurtity.”

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