Some Insights on VHS and the Bait Controversy
By Tom Marks
VHS Spreading to Other Great Lakes
Chicago, Il. April 13, 2007, Eddie Landmichl, Charter Captain and Environmental Activist says divers have reported the bottom of the southern basin of Lake Michigan is carpeted with dead fish, mostly gobies with some sheephead. They've been dead too long to autopsy, but Viral Hemmoraghic Septicemia (VHS) is suspected.
Researchers in Wisconsin and elsewhere are very anxious to find out how extensive this die-off is, and are requesting everyone with underwater camera equipment to check their local waters for unusual quantities of dead fish on the bottom.
A Few Bait Regulations Explained
Anyone with a fishing license can collect baitfish for his or her personal uses (not to sell) however due to the special regulations restrictions apply. If you harvest your own bait it can not be transported in a vehicle over the road. Only on the water or by walking. The bait must be used in the body of water where it came from.
What if you possess commercial bait license and harvest bait intended only for your personal or private use? The regulations that apply are exactly the same for you as for individuals who do not possess a commercial bait license. You can not transport live or dead (salted or otherwise treated minnows) without a permit from the DEC. The
commercial restrictions are in fact the same as personal restrictions on bait. A commercial license allows the business to harvest bait and with a special permit issued by the DEC transport the bait to a salt processing site. Frozen uncertified bait is treated as if they were live uncertified.
Frozen baitfish that is not certified can not be transported.
Purchased certified minnows can be salted however they still only can be possessed for seven days with the valid sales receipt.
For a complete list of frequently asked questions go to the web at: http://www.dec.state.ny.us/website/dfwmr/fish/fhregs.html