Lake Pleasant tests positive for largemouth bass virus

Posted: Updated:

A presence of the largemouth bass virus has been confirmed in Lake Pleasant according to the Arizona Game and Fish Department.

The presence of the largemouth bass virus was found in some of the samples taken in October while  conducting a routine survey on  largemouth bass tissue samples collected by Arizona Game and Fish and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service personnel.

To date there have been no documented fish kills associated with the largemouth bass virus at Lake Pleasant, according to Arizona Game and Fish.

Game and Fish wants the public to know that the virus does affect largemouth bass, however, it does not pose a risk to people or pets - plus the water is safe for recreation.

There have been no recreational impacts at Lake Pleasant and fishing is still very productive.

There are precautions that can be taken to help stop the spread of the largemouth bass virus, according to Arizona Game and Fish. 

The first thing the public can do to help prevent the spread of the virus is to avoid transporting live fish or water from one body of water to another. Second, when you are done boating at the lake, clean, drain, and dry your boat before leaving. You will want to disinfect the boat as well or wait at least five days before launching your boat into a different body of water. It is now law for all boaters to clean and disinfect their boats before leaving at many lakes in Arizona, including Lake Pleasant.

Other ways you can help prevent the spread of the largemouth virus is to dispose of all unused bait in the trash, do not transport fish from one body of water to another, drain water from your boats, bait buckets, and live wells before leaving the launch area. Most important, let everything dry completely before moving from one body of water to another.

The last time a fish-health survey had been conducted at Lake Pleasant was in 2002 and at that time there was no evidence of the largemouth bass virus. Arizona Game and Fish believe the virus was introduced to the lake within the last 10 years.

There are 18 confirmed states where the virus can be found that dates back to 1991. Including Lake Pleasant the virus has been tested positive in a total of four lakes in Arizona, Saguaro Lake, Bartlett Lake, and Roosevelt Lake.

For more information on the largemouth bass virus go to

Arizona Game and Fish also ask that if you see any dead or dying fish to please report it by calling (623) 236-7257.

Copyright 2012 CBS 5 (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.