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#12569599 - 01/08/18 07:19 PM That bass virus at Fork in the late 90s...
Devil Horse Offline
Extreme Angler

Registered: 01/24/11
Posts: 2568
Loc: East Texas
Did they ever say why that happened besides being a virus? Where did it come from? How was it introduced into the lake, etc?

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#12569697 - 01/08/18 08:10 PM Re: That bass virus at Fork in the late 90s... [Re: Devil Horse]
Ken A. Online   content
TFF Celebrity

Registered: 10/02/06
Posts: 9577
Loc: Trophy Club, TX
I do not think they ever concluded what caused the virus. There were lots of theories floating around. I know the parks and wildlife had biologists from all over the state working on it.

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#12569704 - 01/08/18 08:12 PM Re: That bass virus at Fork in the late 90s... [Re: Devil Horse]
RedSkeeter Online   content

Bedazzled

Registered: 04/12/05
Posts: 15411
Loc: Fork/Arlington some.
Speculation, toxins that kill grass may have something to do with it.. drought combined with who knows... I witnessed the effects, it was horrible..backs of wind blown coves piled with big fish... hard to discribe . Prior to that, fishing was off the chain good...indescribable actually.
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#12569767 - 01/08/18 08:43 PM Re: That bass virus at Fork in the late 90s... [Re: RedSkeeter]
Ken A. Online   content
TFF Celebrity

Registered: 10/02/06
Posts: 9577
Loc: Trophy Club, TX
Originally Posted By: RedSkeeter
Speculation, toxins that kill grass may have something to do with it.. drought combined with who knows... I witnessed the effects, it was horrible..backs of wind blown coves piled with big fish... hard to discribe . Prior to that, fishing was off the chain good...indescribable actually.


Sad indeed.

I recall being on the lake a few days prior to the discovery of the virus. We caught a bunch of good fish off a deep spot but they acted sick. They were feeding but once hooked they would barely put up a fight. I recall one day we had 42 fish with a bunch of 3-5 pounders on DD22's.

Two days later with absolutely NO change in weather, we caught 5 fish all day. I knew something was dreadfully wrong. A week later there were dead fish, mostly big slot fish, all over the place.

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#12569791 - 01/08/18 08:53 PM Re: That bass virus at Fork in the late 90s... [Re: Devil Horse]
Rog Offline
Pro Angler

Registered: 03/08/05
Posts: 518
Loc: Carrollton
What red skeeter said but there was not a bad drought, lake was full and that spring had been cooler than Normal. What did happen is all the grass went from growing and green to black and dying in late March and April. Also in some areas the bass seemed to move off the beds overnight and not return. I mean all fish in a entire area all at once. Things were just really weird that spring. Originally I thought is was me or they moved offshore and suspended early in a post spawn funk. But the grass just seem to vanish everywhere also and whatyou could find was bad looking and covered in black slime. Remember back then the grass was growing out as deep as 10-15 ft and would choke off the backs of glade birch running and other creeks. Heard lots of stories of sonar being used versus spraying. During that period TPWD was making a huge push to rid the state of all invasive grass and hydrilla was on the list. It’s also interesting that Rayburn lost its grass and had a kill the year before and Roberts the year after. Not sure if it will ever be know what triggered the virus but fishing and catching was off the chain at both Roberts and Fork before the grass disappeared and has never been the same as it was in the 90s since. Here is an article to check out. https://www.bassresource.com/fishing/largemouth_iridovirus_LMBV.html.

Also read the updates at the bottom of that article.


Edited by Rog (01/08/18 09:19 PM)

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#12569827 - 01/08/18 09:09 PM Re: That bass virus at Fork in the late 90s... [Re: Devil Horse]
Jaret Latta Offline
TFF Celebrity

Registered: 01/06/07
Posts: 7684
Loc: Austin, Tx/Nacogdoches, Tx
Same thing on Rayburn also

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#12570008 - 01/08/18 10:19 PM Re: That bass virus at Fork in the late 90s... [Re: Devil Horse]
1bas Offline
Outdoorsman

Registered: 08/07/12
Posts: 63
In the late spring of 98 (last wk.of March or 1st. wk. of April) I was catching good fish 4-6 lbs.on a ridge that had beautiful hydrilla growing to about 4ft. from the surface.I was gone for 2 weeks. When I came back it was as if no grass had been there. I took a spoon and pulled some up from the bottom, all black, dead and nasty. There had not been any significant weather or lake level changes. As time passed I saw and heard other people talking about similar situations. about 3 months later we had a massive fish kill (especially fish over 4lbs.) I don't know whether something was put in the lake intentionally, or accidental from spraying woods on land or chemicals used in paving roads. But I haven't seen or heard of grass growing deeper than about 12 ft.since. Prior it would mat up on top in 20-24 ft. of water almost every year as far back as 85 0r 86. It is hard for me to imagine a better lake ever existing than Rayburn from 93-98, as far as numbers of big fish every year.I do hope before I leave this world I can expierence 5 or 6 consecutive years of fishing like we had at Rayburn back then. And I believe that everyone else, that was here then would say the same thing.

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#12570009 - 01/08/18 10:19 PM Re: That bass virus at Fork in the late 90s... [Re: Devil Horse]
Razorback Online   content
TFF Team Angler

Registered: 08/31/01
Posts: 3630
Loc: Tyler, TX, USA
Fishing became terrible. I came up planning to fish for three days, but after fishing all day for two days and catching one fish I went home despite having a prepaid room for the night.

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#12570112 - 01/08/18 11:10 PM Re: That bass virus at Fork in the late 90s... [Re: Devil Horse]
txmasterpo Offline
TFF Celebrity

Registered: 11/10/12
Posts: 5954
Loc: Emory
Sabine valley and parks and wildlife sprayed the grass....the decomposing grass sucked the oxygen out, the fish died .. lmbv is fake news.... just my opinion
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#12570161 - 01/08/18 11:26 PM Re: That bass virus at Fork in the late 90s... [Re: Devil Horse]
David Burton Offline
Extreme Angler

Registered: 07/14/11
Posts: 2184
Loc: McKinney, TX
Interesting read... If you are really looking for details and timing (not just speculation). It hit several lakes across the south within a 2-3 year period. August was apparently when it peaked at Fork (with the higher water temperatures):

FLW Article (circa 2000)
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#12570178 - 01/09/18 12:25 AM Re: That bass virus at Fork in the late 90s... [Re: Devil Horse]
Devil Horse Offline
Extreme Angler

Registered: 01/24/11
Posts: 2568
Loc: East Texas
My experience with it is wife and I was out fishing in Williams creeks and fish, some real nice ones just started floating up and swimming on their sides until they died, was pretty freaky watching that. Then later in the day we went in to LFM to eat and found others talking about the same thing.

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#12570251 - 01/09/18 07:05 AM Re: That bass virus at Fork in the late 90s... [Re: Devil Horse]
Okie Poke Online   happy
TFF Guru

Registered: 02/28/04
Posts: 18292
Loc: Flower Mound, TX
I started fishing Fork in 1988. Best lake by far that I've ever been on besides Falcon heyday from '07-'12. We would go every year from Tulsa. My records indicate that 1995 was the first year that I seen a difference. We kept coming for a couple of years and then quit in 1998. Now, I live here and never even fish ole' mutha forker. Every time I do go, maybe a Skeeter Owners or BB event, I just sit back and reminisce on the great, many days that I have had, with a cold beer in my hand. No need in holding a fishing pole..... frown
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#12570253 - 01/09/18 07:11 AM Re: That bass virus at Fork in the late 90s... [Re: Rog]
Ken A. Online   content
TFF Celebrity

Registered: 10/02/06
Posts: 9577
Loc: Trophy Club, TX
Originally Posted By: Rog
Heard lots of stories of sonar being used versus spraying. During that period TPWD was making a huge push to rid the state of all invasive grass and hydrilla was on the list.


I have been in the water treatment chemical biz for 27 years. I sold Sonar One to a private lake owner to treat a small portion of a 100 acre lake because hydrilla was choking off the shallow section of the lake. It was $85K to treat a small portion of his lake.

Whoever told you they used Sonar One to kill the grass on Fork was dead wrong. Not only would it be cost prohibitive, there was never a push to rid the lake of hydrilla.

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#12570276 - 01/09/18 07:32 AM Re: That bass virus at Fork in the late 90s... [Re: Devil Horse]
Outdoordude Online   happy
Extreme Angler

Registered: 04/20/09
Posts: 2163
The lab I work in confirmed LMBV in large fish from lake Monticello in Arkansas in the late 90's. TPWD found the same in Rayburn and Fork at the same time. The first confirmed case was in Santee Cooper in 1995 and it spread westward fairly quickly. It probably spread naturally through connected waterways, and jumped watersheds via animals and water left in boats. Most fish that were exposed to it survived and developed immunity. It's present in most wild populations in the southeast now, but doesn't cause much trouble anymore.

It may not have been the only, or primary, factor in the fish kill on Fork, but it played a significant part in it.

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#12570281 - 01/09/18 07:34 AM Re: That bass virus at Fork in the late 90s... [Re: txmasterpo]
horseplaydvm Online   content
TFF Celebrity

Registered: 05/07/09
Posts: 6598
Loc: Ok, USA
Originally Posted By: txmasterpo
Sabine valley and parks and wildlife sprayed the grass....the decomposing grass sucked the oxygen out, the fish died .. lmbv is fake news.... just my opinion

Agree, kind of like the broken jaw theory killing the SAL's.
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