New fishing regulations in Michigan seek to curb spread of disease

The state of Michigan has new fishing regulations that are designed to curb the spread of fish diseases and fight invasive species.

The Michigan Natural Resources Commission recently approved regulations taking effect immediately that involve the collection and use of bait.

The regulations seek to minimize the spread of diseases such as viral hemorrhagic septicemia, or VHS, to other waters in the state. Special regulations listed in the new order place restrictions on the use of minnows and details where baitfish may be used.

Details are posted online in the 2016-2017 Michigan Fishing Guide.

VHS was discovered in the Great Lakes in 2005 and has caused large-scale fish kills. Some species typically used as live bait are susceptible to VHS, such as emerald shiners and white suckers.