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"Koi Herpes Virus" blamed for carp fish kill in Dodge County

DODGE COUNTY, WI (WTAQ) - A virus that's new to Wisconsin is being blamed for the deaths of carp in Dodge County.

The DNR said the "koi herpes virus" is responsible for separate die-offs of carp in the federal and state waters of the Horicon Marsh and Lake Sinissippi.

A third investigation is underway after reports of dying carp in Silver Creek, which connects to the Rock River downstream from the Hustisford Dam.

The DNR says the virus does not harm humans or other fish -- but people are still urged to be careful in handling the affected carp, because it might cause secondary bacterial infections. Experts urge folks to use protective clothing like gloves when removing dead carp from waterways.

Fish which have the koi herpes virus appear to show signs of sunken eyes, damaged gills, and larger than normal spleens.

DNR biologists expect the disease to keep advancing in the Rock River system until cooler weather comes this fall.

Koi herpes caused major carp die-offs as early as 2005 in New York State. Neighboring Michigan found the virus in 2011.

(Story courtesy of Wheeler News Service)