Virginia and West Virginia scientists study unexplained fish kills

Richmond, Va. (AP) – Officials in Virginia and West Virginia are
trying to figure out what’s killing fish in the Shenandoah River
basin.

Scientists at the U.S. Geological Survey’s National Fish Health
Lab in Leestown, W.Va., recently found a
link between a bacterium found in diseased fish and lesions and
deaths among experimentally infected laboratory fish.

Unexplained fish kills affecting mostly smallmouth bass and
sunfish have occurred in the Shenandoah River basin since 2004.

Many fish develop lesions before dying.

The Virginia Department of Environmental Quality and Department
of Game and Inland Fisheries’ spring study will attempt to
determine the bacterium’s source and how it is transmitted. They
also will explore why certain fish are more susceptible than
others.

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