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Date: June 8, 2009
Contact: Andrew S. Muñoz, 702-293-8691

LAS VEGAS - Laboratory results received by the Arizona Game and Fish Department report that the Koi Herpes Virus (KHV) is the probable cause of the Lake Mohave carp die-off. The virus, which can impact carp as water temperatures warm, affects gill function and can lead to suffocation and secondary infections. While there were bacterial issues, lab tests show KHV as the primary cause of the die-off. The virus doesn't pose a human health hazard.

Since Memorial Day weekend, dead carp have been washing up on the shores of Lake Mohave. The National Park Service has advised visitors that the water is safe for swimming. As a precaution, visitors should avoid handling the dead fish.

The test results confirm what park officials suspected was the cause. Water quality tests ruled out toxic algae.

Game officials are recommending that anglers avoid taking carp, and focus on other fish species in the lake until the die-off ends. Reports from around the lake do indicate that the die-off may be subsiding.

Park maintenance crews have been removing dead fish from the developed areas at Katherine Landing and Cottonwood Cove. Lake Mohave has about 200 miles of shoreline and it would be impractical to attempt to remove dead carp from all beaches. Affected areas are sporadic, it may take visitors a little more time to find a suitable spot on the beach.

- NPS -

Last updated: February 28, 2015

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