Boating in Canada News

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10 January 2007

New Fish and Bait Viruses in Ontario

A new virulent fish virus, viral hemorrhagic septicemia, has been found in fish in the lower Great Lakes - Lake St. Clair, Lake Erie, Niagara River, Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River. This virus has been linked to die-offs of four fish species so far, and could decimate fish if allowed to spread. The U.S. banned the import of 37 live fish species - including rainbow trout, chinook and coho salmon - from Ontario and Quebec, and also banned movement of fish between eight states. The Ontario government is putting restrictions on transport of live bait from the Great Lakes area to stop the virus from spreading north and west. (

Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources will prohibit the sale of crayfish and frogs as bait sometime in 2007. Testing of bait-shop frogs found a 100% infection rate of ranavirus, which research has found can spread to fish. (

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