Carp deaths at The Lough surpass 600

Carp deaths at The Lough surpass 600
Dermot Long and Sean Cremin, of Inland Fisheries Ireland on The Lough, watched by walkers. Picture: Jim Coughlan.

THE virus which has led to the deaths of hundreds of carp in two Cork lakes will likely result in a lengthy quarantine period and has the potential to spread to other areas.

Scientists at the Fish Health Unit at the Irish Marine Institute have confirmed the sample carp taken from The Lough and Belvelly Lake have all tested positive for carp edema virus (CEV), an infection which is fatal in up to 80% of cases.

232 dead carp were collected from the Lough yesterday by Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI).

Thirty-two were collected from the edges while 200 were collected near the island, suggesting they may have been dead before yesterday and only now accessible to IFI.

Dermot Long and Sean Cremin, of Inland Fisheries Ireland on The Lough with bags of dead fish. Picture: Jim Coughlan.
Dermot Long and Sean Cremin, of Inland Fisheries Ireland on The Lough with bags of dead fish. Picture: Jim Coughlan.

CEV is a poxvirus which causes a disease known as ‘koi sleepy disease’ in both koi and common carp.

More than 600 affected fish have now been taken from the water amenity.

The IFI has recommended that stringent biosecurity protocols continue to be implemented. And advised that all mortalities continue to be removed and disposed of in a bio-secure manner.

Angling remains suspended at both locations as well as Inniscarra and Carrigadrohid Reservoirs.

CEV is being treated as a ‘suspect positive’ but has not been confirmed as the definite cause of the deaths until all tests have been completed.

Cork City Council Head of Parks and Recreation Stephen Scully said over 600 carp have now died in the Lough.

The lake, on an educated guess, held about 1,000 Carp before the fish kill.

Mr Scully said that the major fish kill now appears to be over, with smaller numbers of fish dying in recent days.

Bill Brazier, fish biologist and secretary of Cork Carp Anglers Club, said there is evidence to suggest that other fish, such as Rudd, can carry major carp viruses without becoming infected themselves.

“It could spread to other lakes via those so contamination control must be a priority,” he said.

Mr Scully said in recent years, there have been a number of improvements made at the Lough, including two upgraded fountains, fish rinse bins for anglers to disinfect their equipment and introducing Barley straw in the spring/summer months.

He added that the area is being assessed for further improvements to lighting and surrounding footpaths.

The Head of Parks and Recreation also said the area was maintained to a high standard and called it one of the biggest used amenities in Cork.

“I go running down by the Lough three times a week and a huge amount of people go walking and running down around the area.

“When the sun is shining there are people throwing a frisbee, kicking a ball and playing hurling.”

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