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New Rules to Prevent Spread of Fish Virus

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Boaters and fishermen in Illinois must follow some new rules to help slow the spread of a deadly fish virus.

Viral hemorrhagic septicemia, or VHS, has killed large numbers of fish in the Great Lakes. And it’s recently been found in Lake Michigan. TheIllinois Department of Natural Resources wants to prevent the spread of VHS to the state’s inland waters. Acting chief of fisheries Steve Pallo says that’s hard because the virus is very contagious.

PALLO: It can be just in the water. It can be contact with other fish, and it appears if a smallmouth bass eats a goby, the smallmouth can pick it up by eating the goby.

One rule says fish and bait cannot be transported alive from the waters where they’re caught. Also boaters must drain their decks and live wells before leaving a body of water. The IDNR says VHS poses no threat to humans.

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