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DEC Announces Viral Hemorrhagic Septicemia Linked to Cayuga Lake Fish Kill


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#1 mattknepley

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Posted 26 May 2017 - 06:13 PM

The write up emphasizes only Round Goby deaths. By the thousands, apparently. Anyone know if other species were involved? Wouldn't they have to be? Please let me cheat and tell me so I don't have to do "research".

https://content.govd...lletins/19d7d31

Ramifications for collecting in NY here, too.
Matt Knepley
"No thanks, a third of a gopher would merely arouse my appetite..."

#2 az9

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Posted 26 May 2017 - 09:25 PM

Don't even get me started on this. Lots of bad science, assumptions, and knee jerk reactions.   :angry:



#3 az9

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Posted 27 May 2017 - 06:46 AM

by state and federal government that is. 



#4 gerald

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Posted 27 May 2017 - 09:10 AM

Matt -- I dont know about that particular fish kill event, but yes, many fish families are susceptible to VHS:  trout, minnows, suckers, herring, sunfish, perch, darters, etc, so if it hasn't affected other species yet, it certainly could.

 

AZ9 -- it is often necessary to make ecological management decisions with incomplete information, including assumptions based on currently available evidence.  And yes, government agencies are usually the ones doing it; they are the people tasked with managing resources for public use.   I hope you're not suggesting the "do nothing until we have ALL the definitive answers" approach to ecological management.


Gerald Pottern
-----------------------
Hangin' on the Neuse
"Taxonomy is the diaper used to organize the mess of evolution into discrete packages" - M.Sandel


#5 az9

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Posted 29 May 2017 - 12:45 PM

Gerald,

 

How is requiring expensive testing for VHS on fish farms where is has never been found, while doing little if nothing about ballast water on ships that continue to bring in more and more exotic fish, zooplankton, plants, and pathogens into the Great Lakes good management? Furthermore testing based on political boundaries vs. actually physical boundaries such as watersheds etc. doesn't make a lot of sense.

 

I.e. I need to test my fish for VHS if I want to sell them across state lines, but within the state no testing is required. Meanwhile anglers are moving fish everywhere via their live wells. I can also move any wild fish I want into my private ponds as long as they are within the state lines, and I capture them legally. Most ponds do overflow into adjacent watersheds so one could potentially contaminate those watersheds by bringing in fish from another watershed. At least that is the case in my state of Indiana. At the same time moving turtles even within the same watershed is strictly illegal due to the potential introduction of pathogens. Fish seem to be exempt. Make sense to you? 

 

We fish farmers were put on hold for a year from transporting fish while APHIS sat on their hands trying to figure out what to do. That means no income or food on the table for families. Their final solution was to test where the virus does not exist or probably ever will. We're talking thousands of dollars not only for the testing but to pay a vet to come out and take the samples. 

 

And btw with all the hysteria about VHS, there really have not been that many fish kills for disease that was supposed to be so devastating , and you'd be hard pressed to see pictures of high mortalities except mostly exotics. One pathologist I know believes VHS has been here for at least 20 years, but only affects fish when they are stressed. In fact fish at all the major Great Lakes  ports test positive for VHS according to one study, but are showing no clinical signs. Way back in 8th grade we learned they probably developed an immunity to the pathogen. Doesn't take a PHD to come to that conclusion.

 

One source tells me the head of APHIS and the the former head of NAA (National Aquaculture Association) were good friends. The head of NAA was getting pressure from bait farmers in the south to do something about VHS. The former head of NAA put pressure on head of APHIS. The subsequent crackdown on VHS was a boon to southern bait suppliers, and put a lot of northern bait suppliers in the Great Lakes states out of business. You get my drift? 

 

When I was head of the Indiana Aquaculture Association a spokesman for NAA admitted they made a big mistake pushing for something to be done about VHS. 



#6 Matt DeLaVega

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Posted 29 May 2017 - 03:55 PM

I feel like the susceptible species list is very poorly researched or tested. I understand that this list may not be complete, but if you are going to ban trafficking bluegill or black crappie, shouldn't you ban very close relatives as well? If you are really trying to stop a major outbreak, shouldn't white crappie be considered? Maybe not, as they aren't often aquacultured for pond stocking like black crappie. If they were doing a thorough job they should have banned all transport of Lepomis back in 2008, not just two species.You can't tell me that bluegill and warmouth are the only Lepomis that can carry and spread VHS. They freaked out about it, and did a poor job containing it, if it was even worth containing. Look at the list. Tell me that it was a thorough well thought out containment plan.

https://www.aphis.us...or_VHS_2014.pdf

Sorry, but this has angered me since day one. Either contain it or don't. Don't half @$$ regulate it.


The member formerly known as Skipjack


#7 gerald

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  • Wake Forest, North Carolina

Posted 29 May 2017 - 08:48 PM

Thanks for explaining the problems AZ and Matt.  It does sound like the strategies you describe to deal with VHS have been misguided.  Regulate where we can, even if it's not where the main problem lies.  Like searching for lost keys only under the street lamp.


Gerald Pottern
-----------------------
Hangin' on the Neuse
"Taxonomy is the diaper used to organize the mess of evolution into discrete packages" - M.Sandel


#8 az9

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Posted 30 May 2017 - 06:01 AM

I feel like the susceptible species list is very poorly researched or tested. I understand that this list may not be complete, but if you are going to ban trafficking bluegill or black crappie, shouldn't you ban very close relatives as well? If you are really trying to stop a major outbreak, shouldn't white crappie be considered? Maybe not, as they aren't often aquacultured for pond stocking like black crappie. If they were doing a thorough job they should have banned all transport of Lepomis back in 2008, not just two species.You can't tell me that bluegill and warmouth are the only Lepomis that can carry and spread VHS. They freaked out about it, and did a poor job containing it, if it was even worth containing. Look at the list. Tell me that it was a thorough well thought out containment plan.

https://www.aphis.us...or_VHS_2014.pdf

Sorry, but this has angered me since day one. Either contain it or don't. Don't half @$$ regulate it.

 

Matt,

 

I think the problem with the list is they only put fish on the list that they found in the fish kills. I.e. I have to test brown and rainbow trout but brook trout are exempt because they weren't found in the fish kills. That said, to make it even more inconsistent there is at least one species of fish on that list that was not found in the fish kills. The fathead minnow (Pimephales promelas) have to be tested by bait producers, but were never found in any of the fish kills probably because they were not there. (They are slow moving and don't last long with predators in open water).  I asked an APHIS speaker, at a seminar I was at, why that was the case, and he wasn't aware they weren't on the list! Apparently the reason given is they COULD BE an excellent vector by angler's using them as bait. 

 

APHIS has since dropped all enforcement and regulation into the laps of the states including expenses, and wiped their hands clean of the blunder. Nothing new for the feds. 



#9 az9

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Posted 30 May 2017 - 06:04 AM

Thanks for explaining the problems AZ and Matt.  It does sound like the strategies you describe to deal with VHS have been misguided.  Regulate where we can, even if it's not where the main problem lies.  Like searching for lost keys only under the street lamp.

 

Thanks for keeping an open mind and not digging in. 

 

APHIS wanted to even go farther with additional testing and expenses on the same fish farms, as having a vet make a second visit to a farm before transporting fish. This would have absolutely made the fish farms unprofitable and go out of business.  Maybe that was their goal? Fortunately our representatives took action. 



#10 az9

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Posted 08 June 2017 - 06:39 AM

Looks like I will have to give in and and start testing all the fish on my facility just to sell the trout to private ponds. Testing per lot is $300.00 and probably another $300.00 to pay a vet to take the samples. I'm so small I have to decide if the cost is worth it, which it may not be. At some point I may just have to throw in the towel. 

 

The average fish farm spends $10,000 for health testing, and for some pathogens that have not been found on any fish farm let alone my state. 

 

Like Ronald Reagan said, "The nine most feared words in the english language are I'm from the government and I'm here to help." 



#11 lilyea

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Posted 08 June 2017 - 10:51 AM

Don't forget the accompanying lie - the response: "We're glad you're here!"

#12 Matt DeLaVega

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  • Ohio

Posted 08 June 2017 - 08:08 PM

I am truly sorry that they are making it so hard for you Cecil. I know agriculture in many forms, it is never easy, Tight margins. You buy retail and sell wholesale. When this type of bureaucracy is thrown at you, it makes it very hard not to get big or get out. This country was built on small farms, it is a real shame that it is becoming a thing of the past.

 

 In 1950 a cow/calf operation with 50 brood cows provided a solid living and paid for the farm. Today a cow/calf operation that size can pay the taxes on the land and a good portion of the mortgage, the farmer has to work another job to provide a living and make up the mortgage deficit. It is really a sad thing to witness.

 

 A guy used to be able to go to the dairy farm next door and buy a gallon of milk. That is illegal now.

 

I can't buy fish from you now to stock in my private pond unless you spend so much in testing that it will simply price you out of my budget, and I will have to go to the big hatchery and buy my fish. I like being loyal to the small guy, but it is really hard when you are trying to survive as well. I really wish there was a solution. Buying local is hard when there is Walmart.


The member formerly known as Skipjack


#13 az9

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Posted 22 June 2017 - 07:03 PM

Don't forget the accompanying lie - the response: "We're glad you're here!"

 

 

I like it.  :biggrin:



#14 az9

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Posted 22 June 2017 - 07:17 PM

I am truly sorry that they are making it so hard for you Cecil. I know agriculture in many forms, it is never easy, Tight margins. You buy retail and sell wholesale. When this type of bureaucracy is thrown at you, it makes it very hard not to get big or get out. This country was built on small farms, it is a real shame that it is becoming a thing of the past.

 

 In 1950 a cow/calf operation with 50 brood cows provided a solid living and paid for the farm. Today a cow/calf operation that size can pay the taxes on the land and a good portion of the mortgage, the farmer has to work another job to provide a living and make up the mortgage deficit. It is really a sad thing to witness.

 

 A guy used to be able to go to the dairy farm next door and buy a gallon of milk. That is illegal now.

 

I can't buy fish from you now to stock in my private pond unless you spend so much in testing that it will simply price you out of my budget, and I will have to go to the big hatchery and buy my fish. I like being loyal to the small guy, but it is really hard when you are trying to survive as well. I really wish there was a solution. Buying local is hard when there is Walmart.

 

Good points but fortunately I have a brain and have come up with solutions that are legal. One options is I won't sell any extra live fish at all. I have been contacted by a source that will buy my excess trout on ice for the food market which requires no testing, Or I may put the excess live trout into a larger warm water pond in the fall when temps drop sufficiently until they have to come out in May before the water gets too warm. That would add an additional 2 or three inches. They are growing so rapidly I should have a market for them already this fall. I should have some fish as large as 15 to 16 inches by fall as they are growing about 1.5 inches per month and many are already 9 inches 6 months after hatching. I'm flabbergasted by this as before hatching my own eggs, I purchased 6 to 8 inch trout that were already a year old. These are larger than that at 6 months. (See my latest update with pictures titled (Hatching my own Trout Eggs this Fall). 

 

The only fly in the ointment now would be if I have to test my fish even if I don't sell live fish in the future, but if it comes to that I will have both barrels blazing contacting both my representatives and probably a lawyer. I'm easy to get along with and follow all the rules, but when you threaten my livelihood or back me into a corner...





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