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CAL/NEV FISH HEALTH CTR: Bowfishermen Assist Service with Disease Monitoring of Wild Fish Populations
California-Nevada Offices , May 31, 2008
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Bowfishermen capturing carp at Lake Almanor Photo taken by Anne Bolick US Fish and Wildlife Service
Bowfishermen capturing carp at Lake Almanor Photo taken by Anne Bolick US Fish and Wildlife Service - Photo Credit: n/a
Ca-Nv Fish Health Center staff sampling carp at Last Chance Campground near Lake Almanor Photo taken by Lisa Ratcliff US Fish and Wildlife Service
Ca-Nv Fish Health Center staff sampling carp at Last Chance Campground near Lake Almanor Photo taken by Lisa Ratcliff US Fish and Wildlife Service - Photo Credit: n/a

Lisa Ratcliff, California-Nevada Fish Health Center
Spring Viremia of Carp (SVC) is a contagious and potentially fatal viral disease of carp and other cyprinid species. Historically, SVC has been a problem in Europe, the Middle East, and Russia. Infections have been reported in grass carp (Ctenopharyngodon idella), bighead carp (Aristichthys nobilis), and silver carp (Hypophthalmichthys molitrix) however common carp (Cyprinus carpio) are the most susceptible species. SVC was first reported in a North Carolina koi farm in spring of 2002 and was possibly caused by importation of infected fish from another country. The virus is easily spread by contact with infected fish and can stay infectious for long periods of time in water and mud. The only way to prevent SVC is to avoid introducing the virus. Since this first outbreak, the US Fish and Wildlife Service, USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, and local partners have been working together to detect and monitor this emerging pathogen in wild fish populations. 

The California-Nevada Fish Health Center (FHC) recently collected carp as part of the Wild Fish Survey to determine whether the disease is present in northern California and western Nevada. Sample collection took place at Clear Lake, Folsom Lake, Lake Berryessa, and Lake Almanor in California, as well as the Truckee River in Nevada. At this time, SVC was not detected in any samples collected for virus screening.  Sample collection would not have been possible without the collaboration from our local partners; Pacific North West Bowfishing, Department of Fish and Game, and East Bay Regional Park District.

This year hundreds of bowfishing men and women participated in a tournament at Clear Lake, collecting over 15,000 pounds of common carp. With the help of Clifford White, head coordinator for Clear Lake and Lake Almanor bowfishing tournaments, the FHC was able to sample over 130 common carp for SVC. For the fifth year running, the Pacific North West Bowfishing group has put on tournaments throughout northern California. The Pacific North West Bowfishing group and the US Fish and Wildlife Service will continue collaborations to monitor fish populations for SVC in these lakes so we can always have a healthy renewable resource. With the continual support of our local partners, the US Fish and Wildlife Service will continue its mission of preventing the introduction of emerging pathogens and monitoring diseases of wild fish populations.

           


Contact Info: lisa ratcliff, 530-365-4271 ext.213, lisa_ratcliff@fws.gov



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