Fishing suspended on Heath ponds due to deadly carp virus

A sign notifies anglers of the virus Picture: Roman Vester

A sign notifies anglers of the virus Picture: Roman Vester - Credit: Archant

Fishing has been suspended on all the Hampstead Heath ponds due to an outbreak of the KHV virus which affects carp.

An outbreak of a virus means angling is suspended on the Heath ponds Picture: Roman Vester

An outbreak of a virus means angling is suspended on the Heath ponds Picture: Roman Vester - Credit: Archant

City of London Corporation, which runs the Heath, says it has brought in the ban to try to limit the spread of the disease.

Other wildlife are not at risk.

On Monday notices went up around the ponds and officers from the Heath constabulary were at the scene to cordon off the area around the Model Boating Pond while inspectors from the Fish Health Inspectorate investigated.

KHV or Kio herpes virus affects all varieties of common carp and causes largescale mortalities.


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Outbreaks occur when water temperatures rise to 16°C in the recent spate of hot weather, according to the Angling Trust.

A statement on the City of London Corporation’s website states: “Angling is currently suspended, until further notice, on Hampstead Heath due to the outbreak of the KHV virus which affects carp. By suspending angling we hope to limit the spread of the disease. The Environment Agency and the Fish Health Inspectorate have been informed. There is no risk to humans or dogs.”

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Hampstead Heath has over 30 ponds and lakes, of which six are designated for fishing.

Eight species of fish are currently found at the Heath: carp, bream, roach, rudd, tench, gudgeon, perch and pike.

situation.

A spokesperson for the City of London Corporation, which manages Hampstead Heath, said: “Following initial investigations with the Fish Health Inspectorate and the Environment Agency, we can confirm that there is an outbreak of Koi herpesvirus (KHV).

“As a result of the disease affecting carp, and after taking advice from the FIH and EA, we have suspended all fishing across the ponds on the Heath.

The virus poses no danger to humans and dogs.If any members of the public notice any dead fish in the ponds, please contact the Hampstead Heath Constabulary on 020 8340 5260.”

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