Strange ailment strikes bass; losses seen on area lakes

Sunday, September 10th 2000, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

(Tulsa-AP) -- The Oklahoma Wildlife Department says a fish virus has struck the state's largemouth bass population.

The department says the Largemouth Bass Virus has caused the deaths of a large number of bass in several area lakes this summer.

A study of dead and dying largemouth bass collected from Lake Tenkiller confirmed the presence of the virus.

The virus was first officially confirmed in South Carolina in 1995. It has been documented in 12 southeastern states.

Fishery officials are hopeful the virus will run its course like it has in other states.

The virus affects only those bass that measure 16 inches or longer.

The virus becomes lethal when the water temperature rises, when there's not enough dissolved oxygen in the water, when anglers handle the fish or under other stressful circumstances.