Bullhead tumors topic for talk in Newport

NEWPORT — The public is invited to join a virtual meeting next week to discuss fish health in Lake Memphremagog, according to a report in the Newport Dispatch.

The meeting will be hosted by the Agency of Natural Resources on Wednesday, December 9, from 4 to 5 p.m.

Rick Levey, an environmental scientist with the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation, and Pete Emerson, a fisheries biologist for the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department, will provide more information about the brown bullhead lesion investigation that has been ongoing.

Together, the two departments surveyed Lake Memphremagog’s South Bay, Hospital Cove, and Derby Bay throughout 2014-2018.

Surveys found 20-30 percent of brown bullhead had skin lesions or tumors.

The prevalence of lesions and tumors in wild fish has been used as an indicator of environmental quality for many decades.

The Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department, Department of Environmental Conservation, and USGS National Fish Health Laboratory researchers have been working together to determine the cause of these fish lesions.

Results of this work will be presented at the meeting.

“When new or novel problems surface, like the discovery of a high incidence of brown bullhead lesions in the South Bay of Lake Memphremagog, the Agency turns to its team of scientists to investigate possible causes and ultimately, identify solutions,” said ANR Secretary Julie Moore.

To join by phone, call 802-828-7667, and enter the conference ID: 730 614 326#.

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