Barford Lakes has confirmed it has been hit by the KHV virus by issuing the statement below:

Sarah: “My apologies for not releasing any information earlier, I know anglers have been concerned with the current rumors. It’s been a busy and stressful time for us and we have been waiting for confirmed test results before releasing information.

It saddens me to state that Barford and Colton Lakes have had a confirmed outbreak of KHV (Koi Herpesvirus Disease). Initially we had a problem in Colton and Barford Match Lake and under guidance of a vet we began treating for a bacterial infection. This problem appeared to spread to our Pleasure Lake and it became apparent that it could possibly be something more sinister. On our request the Fish Health Inspectorate (CEFAS) have taken samples for testing and we have now had the results confirmed.

We had voluntarily ceased fishing on all affected venues and will now maintain this closure until we are happy things are right. Barford Match Lake has been re-opened for fishing whilst Colton and the Pleasure Lake remain closed whilst we are treating any secondary bacterial or parasite problems.

We are hoping they will open soon, but not until we are happy the fish are better. We have set up disinfection stations for nets and mats on all waters to increase biosecurity and in accordance with Cefas instructions.

We have previously held a dry net policy at our fishery as the majority of bacteria and viruses will die on a dry net. On matches we will still ask all anglers to lay their nets behind their pegs on arrival and only put them in 15 minutes prior to the match but as a first line of defense anglers are asked to dip all nets as per instructions before and after each fishing session. The disinfectant we are using has no residue so there is no need to rinse. It is ultimately important that this is adhered to protect our and other fishery’s carp stocks.

We have not had any problems in Barford Top Lake, Willow Lake and Railway Lake and Abbey Waters. As we have not had the problem in the Top Lake it is so very important that anglers dip their nets if they swap lakes on the Barford complex during their day ticket session.

I truly believe we have minimized any losses on affected lakes through improving the environment for the fish (not fishing the venue and aerating 24hours a day) and by treating any secondary bacterial/parasite infections. It does sadden us though that a percentage of our carp stock has perished in the affected lakes but we hope to have an effective management plan to ensure we still provide the best day’s fishing for anglers.

We are working closely with CEFAS, who have been a great help and the measures we have in place will ensure that the disease is contained and managed effectively. The clinical outbreak has now largely passed through the affected venues and the remaining carp stocks appear strong and healthy. Now it’s a matter of time to see what stocking issues need to be addressed, if any.

We are day ticket fishing on the Match and Top Lakes and will get the Pleasure open as soon as possible and Barford Tackle is open as normal.

CEFAS are happy we were dealing with the situation effectively by not fishing the affected venues whilst the virus was active and by having net dips on lakes. We have been allowed to continue angling on unaffected lakes and re-commence fishing on lakes where the clinical disease outbreak has finished. We closed our fisheries voluntarily as morally we felt it the best action for the fish, and their welfare is paramount.

We have so far not had to cancel any matches with the exception of the Maver’s Pairs Qualifier this weekend and have continued to offer day tickets although a bit limited on some days.

My apologies to the anglers booked on our Maver’s Pairs qualifier at the weekend – I look forward to the event each year but I think you will agree we need to ensure we have dealt with the situation effectively first before allowing anglers from all over the country to fish here.

There is still little known about this viral disease that affects common carp, Cyprinus carpio, including its ornamental varieties such as koi, ghost koi etc. It is highly contagious and there is no treatment or cure and fish that recover from the disease may carry the virus and act as a source of infection. KHV disease is a listed disease in the Aquatic Animal Health directive and is made a notifiable disease in England and Wales under the Aquatic Animal Health Directive Regulations 2009.

We thank all our customers for their support so far, this is the time that we really need it. We are over the worst now and the outbreak has more or less ceased.

A letter will be going out to club secretary’s tomorrow with details of the new bio security measures.”