South African fish threatened by fungal disease

25 February 2012

GreenTimes reports on a fungal fish disease that appears to be geographically widespread.  Epizootic Ulceritic Syndrome (EUS) has been reported in the following waters:

Theewaterskloof Dam, Buffelsjagts and Arabie Dam in the Western Cape and, more recently, in Hartbeespoort and the Vaal Dam in Gauteng.   It has also been reported in Zimbabwe,  the Upper Zambezi and the Okavango Rivers for a couple of years.

Droplets can add that we have seen these symptoms in Rietvlei Dam (Pretoria, Gauteng).

The occurrence over such a wide area may well have to do with the indiscriminate relocation of fish, such as carp, between dams by anglers.  While most serious anglers are aware of the dangers of “restocking” into their favorite waters, illegal movement of fish is common and widespread.  Cases of inappropriate handling of fish during the practice of “catch and return” may also contribute to the spread of the disease within a particular dam or lake.

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