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Viral Hemorrhagic Septicemia Virus Regulations

Brought to you by:

Anglers We Need Your Help in Slowing the Spread of Fish Diseases!

A fish disease known as Viral Hemorrhagic Septicemia Virus (VHSv)

was discovered in Michigan waters. The following regulations have been put in place to slow the spread of the disease. Check michigan.gov/vhs for the official lists, changes and other information.

Definitions

    • Baitfish – live or dead species of fish, or parts of fish excluding Roe, that are used by anglers to catch fish.
    • Baitfish and Roe Exclusion Zone – waters designated as critical to hatchery operations where possession and use of baitfish and Roe as defined is susceptible.
    • Certification Process – a process used by the DNR to grant or deny applications from individuals who want to conduct certain activities that are regulated by the department.
    • Inland Waters – all public waters of the state except for the Great Lakes and their connecting waters.
    • Pathogen – viruses, bacteria, fungi and parasites that cause disease in living organisms.
    • Susceptible Fish Species – Baitfish and other species of fish identified by the department as susceptible to being infected with VHSv.
    • Roe – eggs of fish.

13MIFW-VHSClinicalSigns.jpg

  • VHSv Free Management Area – VHSv has not been in these waters: Lake Superior and all Inland waters in the watersheds of Lake Superior. All Inland waters in the watersheds of Lake Michigan except for those listed under the VHSv Surveillance Area below.
  • VHSv Positive Management Area – VHSv has been confirmed in these waters: Lake Huron including Saginaw Bay, the St. Clair River, Lake St. Clair, the Detroit River, and Lake Erie. All tributaries to Lake Huron including Saginaw Bay, to the St. Clair River, to Lake St. Clair, to the Detroit River, and to Lake Erie in their entirety or from their confluence upstream to the first barrier that prevents the upstream passage of fish if such a barrier exists. VHSv has been documented in Budd Lake (Clare County) and Base Line Lake (Livingston and Washtenaw Counties).
  • VHSv Surveillance Management Area – VHSv has not been found in these waters but the likelihood of detection is high: Lake Michigan including Grand Traverse bays and bays de Noc, and the St. Marys River. All tributaries to Lake Michigan including Grand Traverse bays and bays de Noc, and to the St. Marys River in their entirety or from their confluence upstream to the first barrier that prevents the upstream passage of fish if such a barrier exists. All Inland Waters in the watersheds of Lake Huron including Saginaw Bay, of the St. Clair River, of Lake St. Clair, of the Detroit River, and of Lake Erie, except for those tributaries to Lake Huron including Saginaw Bay, to the St. Clair River, to Lake St. Clair, to the Detroit River, and to Lake Erie that are classified as a VHSv Positive Management Area.

Baitfish and Roe Exclusion Zones

In critical areas where protection of hatchery operations is vital, restrictions on the possession and subsequent use of baitfish and Roe have been implemented to control or contain disease risks at facilities. Therefore, baitfish and Roe shall not be possessed on the following waters in Benzie, Chippewa and Marquette counties:

Benzie County: Brundage Creek and tributaries Kinney Creek and Stanley Creek, from its confluence with the Platte River (T26N, R13W, S7), to their headwaters, including Brundage Spring Pond.

Chippewa County: Pendills Lake (T47N, R4W, S25, 26) including tributary Pendills Creek downstream to its confluence with Lake Superior (T47N, R4W, S28). Sullivan Creek from its headwaters (T46N, R4W, S32) downstream to its confluence with the North Branch of the Pine River (T45N, R4W, S23). Viddian Creek from its headwaters (T47N, R4W, S32) downstream to its confluence with Pendills Creek (T47N, R4W, S28).

Marquette County: Cherry Creek from the location of the Cherry Creek Road (T47N, R24W, S18) to the headwaters at County Road 480 (T47N, R25W, S22).

General Statewide Provisions

  1. A person shall not stock baitfish or live fish that are listed as Susceptible Fish Species, or Roe taken from fish that are listed as Susceptible Fish Species, in public waters of the state prior to receiving a Fish Stocking Permit from the department permitting such activity. It shall be unlawful to import into this state any uncertified baitfish species found on the list of Susceptible Fish Species. This also is a violation of the federal order.
  2. If an approved Fish Stocking Permit is issued by the department, the permittee shall carry that Fish Stocking Permit with them when transporting and stocking baitfish or live fish that are listed as Susceptible Fish Species, or Roe taken from fish that are listed as Susceptible Fish Species, in public waters of the state.
  3. A person who catches fish in a lake or a Great Lake shall not release those fish alive in any public waters of the state if those fish are listed as Susceptible Fish Species, except that those fish may be released alive in that lake, or that Great Lake, or in a connecting body of water to that lake, or that Great Lake, so long as those fish can freely move between the original location of capture and the location of release. This provision does not apply to baitfish.
  4. A person who catches fish in a stream shall not release those fish alive in any public waters of the state if those fish are listed as Susceptible Fish Species, except that those fish may be released alive in any part of that stream, or in a connecting body of water to that stream, so long as those fish can freely move between the original location of capture and the location of release. This provision does not apply to baitfish.
  5. A person shall not use or otherwise release baitfish that are listed as Susceptible Fish Species in any public waters of the state, unless that person is fishing and those baitfish are attached to a hook. Use of Roe is restricted per the specific regulations outlined in the Management Area Regulations for Viral Hemorrhagic Septicemia virus (VHSv).
  6. A person who trailers a boat over land shall drain all water from the live well(s) and the bilge of their boat upon leaving any body of water.

Management Area Regulations for Viral Hemorrhagic Septicemia Virus (VHSv)

VHSv Positive Management Area: On all waters designated within the VHSv Positive Management Area, the following regulations further restrict the transportation, sale, use, and release of baitfish and fish that are listed as Susceptible Fish Species, and Roe taken from fish that are listed as Susceptible Fish Species, that have not been approved as required under the department’s certification process.

  • A person who catches baitfish that are listed as Susceptible Fish Species, or harvests Roe from fish that are listed as Susceptible Fish Species, in a body of water that is located in the VHSv Positive Management Area shall not use or otherwise release those baitfish or that Roe in any public waters of the state, except that those baitfish or that Roe may be used in any waters that are located in the VHSv Positive Management Area subject to Provision 5 above.
  • A person who purchases uncertified baitfish that are listed as Susceptible Fish Species, or purchases uncertified Roe from fish that are listed as Susceptible Fish Species, shall not use or otherwise release those uncertified baitfish or that Roe in any public waters of the state, except that those baitfish or that Roe may be used in any waters that are located in the VHSv Positive Management Area subject to Provision 5 above.
  • VHSv Surveillance Management Area: On all waters designated within the VHSv Surveillance Management Area, the following regulations further restrict the transportation, sale, use, and release of baitfish and fish that are listed as Susceptible Fish Species, and Roe taken from fish that are listed as Susceptible Fish Species, that have not been approved as required under the department’s certification process.
  • A person who catches baitfish that are listed as Susceptible Fish Species, or harvests Roe from fish that are listed as Susceptible Fish Species in a body of water that is located in the VHSv Surveillance Management Area shall not use or otherwise release those baitfish or that Roe in any public waters of the state, except that those baitfish or that Roe may be used in any waters located in either the VHSv Positive Management Area or the VHSv Surveillance Management Area subject to Provision 5 above.
  • A person who purchases baitfish that are listed as Susceptible Fish Species, or purchases Roe from fish that are listed as Susceptible Fish Species, shall not use or otherwise release those baitfish or that Roe in any public waters of the state, except that those baitfish or that Roe may be used in any waters that are located in either the VHSv Positive Management Area or the VHSv Surveillance Management Area subject to Provision 5 above.

VHSv Free Management Area: On all waters designated within the VHSv Free Management Area, the following regulations apply to the transportation, sale, use, and release of baitfish and fish that are listed as Susceptible Fish Species, and Roe taken from fish that are listed as Susceptible Fish Species, that have not been approved as required under the department’s certification process.

  • A person who catches baitfish that are listed as Susceptible Fish Species, or harvests Roe from fish that are listed as Susceptible Fish Species in a body of water that is located in the VHSv Free Management Area may use those baitfish or that Roe in any public waters of the state, subject to Provision 5 above.
  • A person who purchases baitfish that are listed as Susceptible Fish Species, or purchases Roe from fish that are listed as Susceptible Fish Species, that has been harvested from a body of water included in the VHSv Free Management Area may use those baitfish or that Roe in any public waters of the state, subject to Provision 5 above.

The official lists indicating Management Area designations and Susceptible Fish Species are located online at michigan.gov/vhs.

13MIFW-SusceptibleVHScSpecies.jpg

Regulations in red are new this year.

Purple text indicates an important note.

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