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Largemouth Bass Virus Information

Largemouth Bass Virus (LMBV) was first detected in 1991 in Florida and is found throughout the Southeast. It also has been detected in seven of ten northeastern states where testing has occurred.

In August, 2006, the Division of Fish and Wildlife collected 44 tournament-caught largemouth bass from Lake Hopatcong for testing. Additionally, bass from Reservoir #2 in Jersey City and from the Hackettstown State Fish Hatchery were tested.

Test results indicated that bass from the Jersey City reservoir and from the Hackettstown State Fish Hatchery were negative for LMBV. However, the Lake Hopatcong bass tested positive for LMBV.

The test results for Lake Hopatcong are not surprising considering that the virus has been widely detected throughout the Northeast. Additionally, many boat anglers who fish Lake Hopatcong also travel to other lakes in the Northeast and around the country. It is uncertain how long LMB virus has been present at Lake Hopatcong since the presence of the virus does not necessarily lead to a disease outbreak and there may be no obvious signs that the virus has impacted the populations.

The long-term implications of LMBV in New Jersey and elsewhere in the Northeast are unclear. There are many unknowns regarding the behavior of the virus in northern bass populations and how it will behave relative to the southeastern U.S. experiences. The Division plans to sample additional waterbodies next year to determine the prevalence of the virus in our state.

Below are links to the July 12, 2006, Northeast Black Bass Technical Committee Report and to a summary of current information and recommended guidelines. Questions concerning this information can be directed to staff at the Lebanon Fisheries Office at 908-236-2118.

Northeast Black Bass Technical Committee Report (pdf, 945kb)

LMBV Information and Guidelines (pdf, 22kb) - Excerpted from the Northeast Black Bass Technical Committee Report

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Department of Environmental Protection
P. O. Box 402
Trenton, NJ 08625-0402

Last Updated: December 12, 2006