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Forum staff reports, Published June 05 2013

Virus believed to be cause of dead fish behind Jamestown Dam

JAMESTOWN, N.D. – A European or Asian fish virus may be responsible for the deaths of hundreds of carp in the waters behind Jamestown Dam, according to Gene van Eeckhout, fisheries biologist for the state Game and Fish Department.

Carp are not considered a game fish and are not commonly caught by anglers. Some fish are taken by archers during the spring of the year. The disease is not considered a threat to humans.

Earlier this spring, dead carp were reported at the Pipestem Dam near Jamestown. Those fish are believed to have died of oxygen starvation or winter kill, van Eeckhout said.

Van Eeckhout said he believes spring viremia of carp is the culprit at Jamestown Dam. Lab testing of samples from dead fish has not been returned to confirm the diagnosis.

Van Eeckhout said the Game and Fish Department is not planning to remove any of the dead carp at this time.

People encountering the dead or dying fish can leave them alone or remove them from the shoreline to prevent odor, he said.