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Tag Archive | "smallmouth bass"

Largemouth bass virus confirmed in additional lakes 


Dead smallmouth bass recently were found in Beaver Lake (Alpena County, Michigan), in part due to the largemouth bass virus. DNR photo.


The largemouth bass virus (LMBV) has been found in two additional lakes in Michigan’s northern Lower Peninsula, following an initial discovery this past October in Cedar Lake (Iosco County). This time LMBV was found in smallmouth bass in Beaver Lake (Alpena County) during the investigation of a fish kill and in Avalon Lake (Montmorency County). These latest discoveries indicate the virus is spreading northward in Michigan.

Prior to this fall, the virus previously affected adult largemouth bass in the early 2000s in southern Michigan lakes. In those lakes the pathogen killed 10 to 20 percent of the larger adult largemouth bass at first exposure, with populations recovering in a few years. The virus has been found in other species including smallmouth bass, bluegill and black crappie in that part of the state. Bluegill and black crappie are known to be carriers but do not die from this virus.

“The largemouth bass virus likely compromised the immune system of smallmouth bass in Beaver Lake, causing secondary bacterial infections to become more lethal and allowed the virus to be a direct factor in the fish kill,” said Gary Whelan, the DNR Fisheries Division’s research manager. “Because these latest detections are at the northern edge of where LMBV has been found, we may see different responses than what was documented in southern Michigan.”

LMBV is one of more than 100 naturally occurring viruses that affect fish and is closely related to viruses found in frogs and other amphibians. Its origin and methods of spreading are unknown, but anglers are considered a likely transmission path. Anyone moving live, infected fish from one body of water to another, or using contaminated or unclean gear or boats in uninfected waters could easily spread the virus. LMBV is not known to infect humans, and infected fish, if thoroughly cooked, are safe to eat.

LMBV usually causes fish kills during periods when fish are most stressed. Potential stressors include very hot weather, increased recreational fishing, and possibly aquatic weed or other treatments made during hot weather. Anything that can be done to minimize stress on fish will reduce the effects of this virus and subsequent fish deaths.

There are few outward signs that a fish has LMBV. The virus has been found in lakes where no disease or fish kills have been reported. Affected fish usually appear normal, although they may be lethargic, swim slowly and be less responsive to activity around them. Dying fish often are seen near the surface and have difficulty remaining upright. Upon internal examination, infected fish usually have bloated and yellowish swim bladders.

Largemouth bass virus cannot be eradicated from lakes and infected fish cannot be treated. The best way to halt the virus is by anglers and boaters properly cleaning their equipment and doing their part to prevent the spread. Simple steps include:

*Cleaning all fishing equipment between trips.

*Not moving fish or fish parts from one body of water to another.

*Handling bass gently if you intend to release them.

*Refraining from keeping bass in live wells for long periods of time if you plan to release them.

*Minimizing the targeting of largemouth bass during very hot weather.

*Reporting dead or dying adult largemouth bass, particularly when they are in numbers of 25 or larger. Reports can be made online at Michigan.gov/EyesInTheField.

For more information on fish diseases, visit the DNR webpage Michigan.gov/FishHealth.

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Smallmouth bass state record broken


 

Robert Bruce Kraemer of Treasure Island, Florida, recently set a new state-record catch for smallmouth bass with a fish he caught Sunday, Sept. 11, on Indian River in Cheboygan County. Kraemer owns a cottage in Indian River and spends most of the summer there.

Robert Bruce Kraemer of Treasure Island, Florida, recently set a new state-record catch for smallmouth bass with a fish he caught Sunday, Sept. 11, on Indian River in Cheboygan County. Kraemer owns a cottage in Indian River and spends most of the summer there.

Michigan’s existing state record for smallmouth bass was broken Sunday by Robert Bruce Kraemer of Treasure Island, Florida.

A longtime angler with a cottage in Indian River, Cheboygan County, Kraemer said he’s been fishing Michigan waters since 1965, but this is his first state-record catch. Using night crawlers for bait, Kraemer landed a 9.98-pound, 23.10-inch smallmouth bass while out on the Indian River.

“I usually spend June through the end of September up here at the cottage,” Kraemer said. “I’ve got some great fish stories and some nice fish, but nothing like this.”

The record was verified by Tim Cwalinski, a Michigan Department of Natural Resources fisheries biologist in Gaylord.

The previous state record for smallmouth bass was set in October 2015 when Greg Gasiciel of Rhodes, Michigan, landed a 9.33-pound, 24.50-inch fish from Hubbard Lake in Alcona County.

Prior to Gasiciel’s catch, the smallmouth bass state record had stood since 1906. That fish was a 9.25-pound, 27.25-inch fish from Long Lake in Cheboygan County.

“In just the last four years, anglers have caught a total of 16 state-record fish, a remarkable number of big fish in a relatively short time,” said Jim Dexter, chief of the DNR Fisheries Division. “This is just more evidence that Michigan is home to a healthy, robust fishery—a resource and sporting opportunity that continues to draw people from all over.”

Kraemer, the new smallmouth bass state record-holder, agreed.

“I keep coming back to Michigan for a lot of reasons,” he said. “The weather, the clear, cold water, good fishing…it’s just nice up here.”

Michigan fishing state records are recognized by weight only. To qualify for a state record, fish must exceed the current listed state-record weight and identification must be verified by a DNR fisheries biologist.

For more information on fishing in Michigan, including other state-record catches visit www.michigan.gov/fishing.

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Smallmouth bass state record broken 


 

Greg Gasiciel of Rhodes, Michigan, recently set a new state-record catch for smallmouth bass with a fish he caught Sunday on Hubbard Lake in Alcona County.

Greg Gasiciel of Rhodes, Michigan, recently set a new state-record catch for smallmouth bass with a fish he caught Sunday on Hubbard Lake in Alcona County.

Previous state record had stood since 1906

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources has confirmed a new state-record catch for smallmouth bass. This marks the sixth state-record fish caught so far in 2015.

The existing state record for smallmouth bass was broken Sunday, October 18, by Greg Gasiciel of Rhodes, Michigan. Gasiciel was bait-casting with a green grub when he landed a 9.33-pound, 24.50-inch smallmouth bass from Hubbard Lake in Alcona County.

The record was verified by Kathrin Schrouder, a DNR fisheries biologist in Bay City.

“This is additional evidence that Michigan truly has world-class bass fisheries,” said Jim Dexter, Department of Natural Resources Fisheries chief. “Smallmouth bass is one of the most popular, most sought-after sportfish in North America. Even though the Michigan state record stood for more than 100 years, we’re excited to see the bar set even higher for those who set out to land this iconic fish.”

The previous state record for smallmouth bass was set back in 1906 with a 9.25-pound, 27.25-inch fish taken from Long Lake in Cheboygan County. Records show this fish was caught by W.F. Shoemaker.

State records are recognized by weight only. To qualify for a state record, fish must exceed the current listed state-record weight and identification must be verified by a DNR fisheries biologist.

For more information on fishing in Michigan, including other state-record catches, visit michigan.gov/fishing.

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Help DNR find tagged small mouth bass


The DNR is looking for information on tagged smallmouth bass anglers catch on Lake Michigan (similar to the one pictured here).

The DNR is looking for information on tagged smallmouth bass anglers catch on Lake Michigan (similar to the one pictured here).

The Department of Natural Resources is requesting help from anglers in an ongoing study of smallmouth bass in northern Lake Michigan.

Central Michigan University (CMU) and the DNR have been tagging smallmouth bass in the Beaver Island Archipelago since 2005, at Waugoshance Point (Wilderness State Park) since 2009, and in parts of Grand Traverse Bays since 2014. Anglers are asked to report the whereabouts of these tagged smallmouth bass by providing information on capture, capture location and tag number to the DNR via michigandnr.com/taggedfish/tags. If anglers release tagged fish, please do not remove the tag and just report the requested information on the website as indicated.

“Northern Lake Michigan is recognized as one of the top bass fishing destinations in the country, and tagging studies help to provide the scientific basis for management of this world-class fishery,” said Dave Clapp, Charlevoix Fisheries Research Station manager. “Thanks to the efforts of many contributing anglers who’ve reported information on captured smallmouth bass, we have greatly expanded our knowledge of the northern Lake Michigan fishery.”

Since 2005, more than 7,000 smallmouth bass have been caught, tagged and released back into Lake Michigan. Each smallmouth bass has a unique number on its tag, allowing for the tracking of its individual movement and growth. Returns of tagged smallmouth bass have provided insights into movement and nesting habitat within the Great Lakes.

These studies also have demonstrated that smallmouth bass have increased in size and number, compared to 20 or 30 years ago. Smallmouth bass in northern Lake Michigan are among the fastest-growing of this species in North America. Ongoing support from anglers allows the DNR and CMU to continue to expand their knowledge of Great Lakes smallmouth bass populations and fisheries.

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