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Parasites kills over 200 Waneta, Lamoka carp

    WANETA, LAMOKA LAKES—More than 200 carp died at Waneta and Lamoka Lakes in June due to several parasites, according to Cornell University Prof. Paul Bowser.
    The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation responded to calls of dead fish the first week in June. DEC Region 8 Fish Biologist Brad Hammers said his office went to the lakes and found more than 200 dead fish. He added a heavy bacteria and parasite infection was found on the skin and gills. He said the majority were carp, but there were some pan fish as well. Hammers explained they were able to find one specimen that was fresh enough for testing; the fish has to be recently dead or the bacteria could misrepresent the testing results.
    Bowser said fish deaths are not uncommon, but the concern here was that it might have been caused by a virus. He explained the deaths were caused by parasites:
    • External monogenean (external fluke parasite Gyrobacpylus).
    • Two protozoan (single cell) parasites, Ichphyobobo and Trichodina.
    Dave Allen, owner of Wayne Market and All Outdoors, sells bait and equipment to fishermen in the area. He said he has never heard of this many fish dying in Waneta and Lamoka Lakes, let alone the majority of fish being one species. He said if a fisherman boated the length of the lake, he would normally see between five and 10 dead fish, of all species.
    Bowers explained the parasites are normally found in all bodies of water. He said the carp succumbed to the parasites due to weakened immune systems. Bowers said the fish would have been under stress from the spawning season and the change in water temperature. He explained that once the lake temperatures stabilize and more time has passed since the spawning season, the fish stop dying. Bowers added he has not heard about any more carp dying in the lakes.
    Hammers explained the main concern was the fish had contracted something like viral hemorrhagic septicemia virus (VHSV). According to the DEC there have been various viral outbreaks in New York over the last 10 years killing off thousands of carp. Linda Vera, DEC Region 8 representative, said it is not the department’s policy to release statements about fish kills unless it was caused chemically or posed a health threat to humans. She said the carp died of natural causes so there was no release, even though there were over 200 fish.




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