ONE of the Midlands’ most popular day ticket and match venues – Browning Cudmore Fisheries – has been struck down by the killer carp virus SVC.

The Staffordshire water had the disease confirmed by government experts on Friday morning although the fishery says the deaths have already stopped following three months of problems.

Fishery manager Frank Clarke confirmed he had lost ‘hundreds of fish’ and told Midland Angler magazine: “There are loads of fisheries in this area that have had the same problem through the summer but not reported it.

“In fact all the problems have stopped already and to be honest we are not convinced that SVC is the cause as only carp over 4lb have been affected.

“The only lake which had significant problems was Brewsters,” he continued. “In a way it’s blessing because we now plan to drain that lake and restock it with carp to 2lb plus chub and barbel with a view to re-opening in the spring, which will make it a much better match venue.

“The anglers fishing Brewsters didn’t want the bigger carp in there. All the others lakes remain open as normal and there is no change to our match schedule or to pleasure anglers – they just have to dip all their nets as normal.”

Scientists meanwhile say simply that two lakes are affected and that the disease is SVC. Nearby fisheries have been placed on red alert with stringent measures put in place to protect their stocks.

EA fisheries scientist Dan Smallwood confirmed that tests on fish at Browning Cudmore have proved to be SVC positive and said an immediate Designated Area Order had been placed on the fishery. “We are taking this very seriously and making every possible effort to ensure this doesn’t spread,” he said.

Symptoms of the disease include internal bleeding and infected fish usually die.