British Waterways has confirmed that they do have KHV at Earlswood Lakes, which has been experiencing carp deaths and which came in for a lot of stick after fish were left rotting on the bank. It is the first time that a BW water has been confirmed as having the disease.

A spokesperson said CEFAS contacted them to check the fish out after a complaint from ‘a member of the public’ and that tests have proved positive. They had lost ‘only around 80 fish’ and did not think it could be KHV, which can more or less wipe out a fishery.

“Most of the fish died in a two-week period from June 21st and since then we’ve hardly had any fish deaths at all and the venue has continued to fish really well with 200lb plus bags being taken. If we had thought KHV was a possibility we would have called in the authorities to do the testing ourselves.”

They also added that they are aware of rumours of fish thefts from the water and have staked out the venue a few times, with no results.

The confirmation means that movement of fish from Earlswood will be prevented for the foreseeable future. However, venues do not have to shut for fishing once diagnosed and BW says the Earlswood will remain open for ‘business as usual’.