Skegness

Koi herpes outbreak at two Lincolnshire lakes

Deadly disease Koi herpesvirus (KHV) has been found at fish at lakes in Skegness and Lincoln this month, with at least one forced to temporarily close.

The Fish Health Inspectorate (FHI) found the disease in fish at 19 sites and put controls in place to limit the spread of the disease.

This included K Lakes on Marsh Lane in Orby, Skegness where disease controls were applied on August 2.

More recently, the FHI made a confirmed designation at Locklands Lake, Lincoln Road, Torksey Lock Lincoln, where disease controls were put in place on Thursday, August 9.

Locklands Lake posted on its Facebook page earlier this month that it would be closed until tests are returned on some fatalities, which they expected to take around two weeks.

All fishing matches have been cancelled and no day tickets will be issued during that time, and all deposits and payments will be refunded for August if people choose not to re-arrange.

Reporters tried to contact K Lakes for a response on how it is affected, but there was no reply by the time of publication.

So what is KHV?

The viral disease of fish affects all varieties of common and ornamental carp species and can result in large scale mortalities.

KHV is a viral disease of common carp (Cyprinus carpio) and all its varieties – such as mirror, leather, ghost, koi etc.

It is highly contagious and may cause up to 100% mortality.

Infected fish shed the virus in faeces, urine and mucus from the gills and skin and it is transmitted by fish to fish contact, as well as via angling equipment and contaminated water.

Fish with the disease may show the following signs, especially when water temperatures are between 16 to 28°C:

  • Necrotic (white or brown) patches on the gills
  • Rough patches on the skin and sloughing mucous
  • Sunken eyes

There is no risk to public health, but anyone suspecting an outbreak of KHV should contact the FHI.

The presence of the listed disease Koi herpesvirus (KHV) has been confirmed in aquatic animals in this designated area in Skegness. Photo: Gov.uk

Designated area known as Locklands Lake in Lincoln. Photo: Gov.uk

When laboratory testing confirms KHV at a site, the FHI put statutory controls in place to limit the spread of the disease.

Sites with KHV disease must undergo a formal monitoring programme for the duration of the calendar year immediately after the outbreak.

The FHI visit these sites to look for evidence of the disease and to inspect compliance with the conditions of the statutory controls.

Some sites chose to cull and disinfect their stocks rather than undergo monitoring.

The controls restrict movement of aquatic animals and ensure equipment is disinfected, but they can be removed if the disease doesn’t reoccur during this period.