A virus was responsible for a fish kill at Brookville Lake this fall that killed hundreds, if not thousands, of common carp, according to the Indiana Department of Natural Resources.

The virus, known as koi herpes virus (KHV), showed up in examinations of carp that were collected from the lake and sent to the Purdue University Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory for testing.

KHV affects common carp and koi, which is a carp species commonly stocked in ornamental ponds and widespread in the aquaculture industry.

Related species such as goldfish and grass carp can be carriers of the virus and transmit it to susceptible fish but they do not appear to be affected by it. There is no evidence that KHV affects native minnows or Asian carp, and it poses no human health risk.

Reports of sick and dying carp at Brookville Lake were first reported to DNR in mid-September.

KHV was first found in Indiana in 2011 and attributed to fish kills in the St. Joseph River in Elkhart County and at a private lake in Daviess County.

The long-term impacts of KHV on fisheries at Brookville Lake and elsewhere around the state are unknown;  however, KHV is present in most of the state and is likely to cause additional fish kills.

Anglers and boaters can help prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species (AIS) by doing the following:

  1. Dispose of unused bait after a fishing trip rather than releasing it or saving it and using it somewhere else.
  2. Drain and dry or disinfect all equipment before moving to another waterway.
  3. Refrain from releasinge fish caught in one body of water to another body of water.

More information on invasive species and how the public can help prevent their spread is at InvasiveSpecies.IN.gov

Logo courtesy Indiana Department of Natural Resources

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