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Viral Hemorrhagic Septicemia

Viral hemorrhagic septicemia, or VHS, has historically been considered the most serious viral disease of trout and salmon raised in freshwater environments in Europe. Only relatively recently has it emerged in freshwater fish in the Great Lakes region of the United States and Canada.

VHS is not a threat to human health; however, it poses a significant economic risk to private aquaculture.

VHS strain IVb Susceptible Species include:
(August 2021) 

  • Black crappie
  • Bluegill
  • Bluntnose minnow
  • Brown bullhead
  • Chinook salmon
  • Emerald shiner
  • Fathead minnow
  • Freshwater drum
  • American gizzard shad
  • Hybrid species when parent species are both susceptible to VHS
  • Hybrid striped bass
  • Lake cisco
  • Lake trout
  • Lake whitefish
  • Largemouth bass
  • Muskellunge
  • Northern Pike
  • Pumpkinseed
  • Rainbow trout
  • Rock bass
  • Round goby
  • Smallmouth bass
  • Spottail shiner
  • Striped bass
  • Walleye
  • White bass
  • White perch
  • Yellow perch

A state-issued permit is required to move VHS-susceptible species regardless of origin. Testing for VHS is only required for VHS-susceptible species from the Great Lakes Region which includes: Indiana, Illinois, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, Ontario, and Quebec.

VHS is a "reportable disease," which means it must be reported within 48 hours of diagnosis to the Indiana State Board of Animal Health (BOAH).

Since spring 2005, a number of fish deaths have occurred in the Great Lakes Region in wild fish, including but not limited to muskellunge, smallmouth bass, yellow perch, bluegill, crappie, gizzard shad, freshwater drum, round goby and other fish species. VHS has also been detected in samples of walleye, white bass and other species.

To this date VHS has not been detected in any fish originating from Indiana's inland waters. Help us protect Indiana's fish from VHS.