MADISON – Ice fishermen and women, particularly those who target pike, will want to watch a new video online to learn how to properly preserve dead bait to meet state rules to prevent the spread of VHS fish disease.
"Preserving Your Bait " [VIDEO opens in a new window;Length 2:43] "Preserving Your Bait" shows Ted Treska, a Department of Natural Resources fisheries biologist and VHS rules specialist, demonstrating two different bait preservation techniques.
VHS, or viral hemorrhagic septicemia, was detected in fish from the Lake Winnebago and Lake Michigan systems in 2007, and in Lake Michigan in 2008, but DNR monitoring has not found it elsewhere. While state fisheries officials are encouraged by those results, they say that VHS remains a serious health threat for Wisconsin fish that can be spread at any time of the year and is most active when water temperatures are below 60 degrees.
VHS, or viral hemorrhagic septicemia, does not affect humans but it can infect dozens of species of game fish, panfish and bait fish, instead of a single species or related species, which is more typical of most fish diseases. VHS can spread rapidly, fish-to-fish and through the water, and it caused large fish kills in 2005 and 2006 in the lower Great Lakes.
FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Ted Treska (608) 267-7659