An outbreak of a deadly disease that affects Koi carp has been confirmed at two Lancashire fisheries.
The outbreak of Koi herpesvirus (KHV) has been confirmed at Bannister House Fishery, Mere Brow, near Preston, and Cleveley Bridge Fishery in Forton, near Lancaster.
We started losing some carp fish about two months ago which we presumed was down to normal spawning.
The outbreak has led Cleveley Bridge Fishery to close its specimen carp pool – but other waters remain open at the site.
Owner Mr Adrian Wilding said just one pool, the Swanbrook lake, has been affected.
It was when a few fish seemed to be dying for an unknown reason that the business called in experts on aquatic animal health and tests were carried out. CERCS (the Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science) announced disease controls were applied at Cleveley on August 15.
Disease controls were also applied at Bannister House Fishery a from August 4.
Mr Wilding said when it reopens the Swanbrook lake it will be used as a coarse fishing pond, not for specimen carp.
He said: “All other coarse waters are open and have been all the time. We don’t know how we got the disease. It’s nothing we’ve done wrong at the fishery. No other fish are dying. It’s just one specific pond.
“We started losing some carp fish about two months ago which we presumed was down to normal spawning. This time we were losing more than normal and it was going on for a prolonged period so we contacted the Environment Agency and the Fish Health Inspectorate and asked them to come and have a look.
“We had already closed the pond. We always close it when they start spawning and we’ll leave it closed now until October. We’ll open it as a coarse fishery pond, not carp. It’s a disappointment but we don’t see the business sense in restocking with carp again to run the risk of losing them.”
In total, he estimates they lost 70 fish. It is not possible to trace the source of the virus, but it’s known it can be dormant for many years, can be in bought in stock and can be transferred on fishing nets.
It’s important nets are dried out before transferring between any pools and that they are disinfected.
As a serious viral disease it is notifiable in the UK and can affect all varieties of common and ornamental carp and can lead to large scale death of affected fish.
In total, 11 fisheries in England and Wales are currently listed on the CERCS control list.