Viral Hemorrhagic Septicemia (VHS)
Viral Hemorrhagic Septicemia (VHS) is a viral pathogen that causes fish to bleed internally. Discovered in Lake Huron in 2005, the disease spread into Lake Erie and recently was discovered in Budd Lake, an inland lake in Clare County (in the northern part of the Lower Peninsula). Department of Natural Resources biologists fear the disease has also worked its way into Lake Michigan.
VHS is a disease that has the potential to devastate entire fish populations. There is no known cure or vaccination. VHS is not a native disease and like so many other aquatic invaders, is suspected to have been delivered to our waters in the ballast of ocean-going vessels. The virus has been found in 25 fish species in the Great Lakes region including walleye, muskellunge, whitefish, freshwater drum, and gizzard shad.