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E-M:/ NY takes action to control fish virus transmission

Enviro-Mich message from "Alex J. Sagady & Associates" <ajs@sagady.com>

NY takes action to control fish virus transmission.....
.....is this an issue in Michigan with cross border transportation of 
live bait fish?

For Release: IMMEDIATE                                                
Contact: Maureen Wren
Tuesday, November 21, 2006                                              
          (518) 402-8000


        The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation
(DEC) announced today the filing of an emergency regulation to help
prevent the spread of Viral Hemorrhagic Septicemia (VHS) virus to
additional waters in the State.  The regulation, which takes effect
immediately, limits the release, possession, and taking of certain bait
and other live fish species. VHS is a pathogen of fish and does not pose
any threat to public health.

        VHS was first confirmed in New York waters in May 2006 in Lake
Ontario and the St. Lawrence River, and has now also been confirmed in
several fish species in Great Lakes basin waters in New York State and
other states. Once a fish is infected with VHS, there is no known cure.
Because of the fatal virus's ability to spread, and potential impact on
fisheries, recreation, and the economy, the World Organization of Animal
Health has categorized VHS as a transmissible disease with the potential
for profound socio-economic consequences.

VHS can be spread from water body to water body through a variety of
means, not all of them known at this point. One known mechanism is
through the movement of fish, including bait fish. DEC, in cooperation
with the College of Veterinary Medicine at Cornell University, is
sampling waters across the State, including all waters used as sources
of brood stock for DEC hatchery activities, to help determine how far
the disease has spread in New York.

        A Federal Order was issued on October 24, 2006, by the Animal
and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) of the United States
Department of Agriculture (USDA) in an effort to prevent the spread of
VHS to other waters and to protect economically important sport
fisheries and aquaculture.  The Federal Order prohibits the importation
of certain species of live fish from Ontario and Quebec and the
interstate movement of the same fish species from eight states bordering
the Great Lakes.  The Federal Order was amended on November 14, 2006 to
allow interstate movement of fish species provided the fish have been
tested and certified free of VHS based on testing procedures implemented
on the state level.  Information on the Federal Order can be found on
the APHIS website at www.aphis.usda.gov/vs/aqua/ .
        The Federal Order does not address the movement of fish within
New York State.  In-state movement of fish for use as bait or for
stocking could spread VHS in New York and cause significant adverse
impacts to the State's fish resources. Therefore, in order to protect
New York's valuable fishery resources, DEC has adopted emergency
regulations to: 

        Prohibit the commercial collection of bait fish from waters of
the State where VHS has been detected. The rule amends State regulations
by removing certain waters impacted by VHS from the list of specially
designated waters that allow bait fish to be taken for commercial
purposes. A list of waters being removed is attached; 

        Limit the personal possession and use of bait fish. The rule
limits the number of bait fish that may be possessed to a total of 100,
as well as restricts the use of bait fish for personal use to the
specific water from which it was collected. This rule does not pertain
to the possession of bait fish in the Marine District; and

        Require live fish destined for release into the waters of the
State to be inspected by certified professionals and be certified to be
free of VHS and other serious fish diseases. The rule prohibits the
placement of live fish into the waters of the State (including
possessing, importing and transporting live fish for purposes of placing
them into the waters of the State) unless accompanied by a fish health
inspection report issued within the previous 12 months.  For all species
of freshwater fish, a fish health inspection report shall certify that
the fish are free of VHS, Furunculosis, Enteric Red Mouth, Infectious
Pancreatic Necrosis Virus, Spring Viremia of Carp Virus, and
Heterosporis. For salmon and trout, the fish health reports must also
certify that the fish are free of Whirling Disease, Bacterial Kidney
Disease, and Infectious Hematopoietic Necrosis Virus (IHN). The fish
health reports must be issued by an independent, qualified inspector, as
well as conform with specific testing methods and procedures. 

        The emergency regulations became effective today - November 21,
2006.  Text of the regulation is available at
http://www.dec.state.ny.us/website/dfwmr/propregs/ on the DEC
website. Hard copies of the rulemaking can also be requested from DEC by
writing to: Shaun Keeler, NYSDEC, 625 Broadway, Albany, NY 12233-4750;
or by calling DEC at (518) 402-8920. 

        While the emergency measure is in place, DEC will proceed with
proposing these amendments as a permanent rulemaking.  Publication in
the State Register on December 6, 2006, will initiate a 45-day public
comment period, concluding on January 22, 2006.  During this time, the
public may email comments by accessing
http://www.dec.state.ny.us/website/dfwmr/propregs/ on the DEC
website. Comments can also be mailed to Shaun Keeler, NYS DEC, 625
Broadway, Albany, NY 12233-4750 .       

List of waters where commercial bait fish harvest is no longer allowed
due to VHS:  
Cayuga County
        Fair Haven Bay (Little Sodus Bay)
        Lake Ontario
        Sterling Valley Creek (from road bridge on Route 104 to Lake

Chautauqua County
        Canadaway Creek (from mouth to Route 5)
        Cattaraugus Creek  

Jefferson County
        Beaver Meadow Creek
        Bedford Creek
        Chaumont River
        Cranberry Creek 
        Crooked Creek
        Flat Rock Creek
        Fox Creek
        French Creek and tributaries, excepting lower three miles of
French Creek
        Guffins Creek
        Horse Creek
        Lake Ontario
Little Stony Creek and tributaries, all above the first road crossing
(not including Six Town Pond)
        Mill Creek and tributaries, from first road crossing to Stowell
        Mud Creek
        Mullet Creek and tributaries (Mullet Creek upstream from Route
        Muskalonge Creek
North Sand Creek (from the highway bridge in Woodville upstream to the
Ellisburg-Adams town line)
        Otter Creek and tributaries
        Perch River
        St. Lawrence River
Skinner Creek and tributaries (downstream from the Lum Road, also
called McDonald Hill Road, located approximately 3.5 miles southwest of
        South Sandy Creek (from bridge at Ellisburg)

Livingston County. 
        Conesus Lake

Monroe County
        Braddocks Bay
        Buck Pond
        Cranberry Pond
        Irondequoit Bay
        Lake Ontario
        Long Pond
        Round Pond
        Salmon Creek (north of Ridge Road)

Niagara County
        Barge Canal (west of Lock E35 )
        Lake Ontario
        Niagara River including the Little Rivers
Tonawanda Creek/Erie Barge Canal (from Niagara River east to junction
with Barge Canal near Pendleton) 
        East Branch Twelve Mile Creek (from mouth to Route 18)

Orleans County. 
        Johnson Creek (from Kuckville to Lake Ontario)
        Lake Ontario
        Oak Orchard Creek (from Waterport to Lake Ontario)

Oswego County
        Blind Creek and tributaries west of Route 11
        Catfish Creek (north of the hamlet of New Haven)
        Eight Mile Creek (north of Route 104A)
        Lake Ontario
        Lindsey Creek to Jefferson county line
        first tributary of Lindsey Creek, lower one-half mile
        Little Sandy Creek west of Route 11
        Nine Mile Creek north of Route 104A
        Oswego Canal
        Rice or Three Mile Creek north of Fruit Valley
        Salmon River from Pulaski to Lake Ontario
        Skinner Creek
        North Sandy Pond

St. Lawrence County
        Big Sucker Creek, Towns of Lisbon, Waddington
        Black Creek, Town of Hammond
        Brandy Brook, Towns of Waddington and Madrid
        Chippewa Bay
        Chippewa Creek, Town of Hammond
        Lisbon Creek, Towns of Oswegatchie and Lisbon
        Little Sucker Brook, Town of Waddington
        Oswegatchie River (downstream of the dam in Ogdensburg)
        St. Lawrence River
        St. Regis River, from Helena to the St. Lawrence River, Town of
        Sucker Creek, Town of Oswegatchie
        Tibbits Creek, Town of Oswegatchie

Wayne County
        Bear Creek
        Black Brook
        Blind Sodus Bay
        Blind Sodus Creek
        East Bay
        First Creek
        Lake Ontario
        Port Bay
        Salmon Creek
        Second Creek (below falls at Red Mill)
        Sodus Bay
        Swales Creek
        Wolcott Creek


Don Zelazny
Great Lakes Programs Coordinator
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
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Alex J. Sagady & Associates        http://www.sagady.com

Environmental Enforcement, Permit/Technical Review, Public Policy, 
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Waste/Community Environmental and Resource Protection
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