Infectious hematopoietic necrosis virus (IHNV) is a rhabdoviral pathogen that infects wild and cultured salmonid fish throughout the Pacific Northwest of North America. IHNV causes severe epidemics in young fish and can cause disease or occur asymptomatically in adults. In a broad survey of 323 IHNV field isolates, sequence analysis of a 303 nucleotide variable region within the glycoprotein gene revealed a maximum nucleotide diversity of 8(.)6%, indicating low genetic diversity overall for this virus. Phylogenetic analysis revealed three major virus genogroups, designated U, M and L, which varied in topography and geographical range. Intragenogroup genetic. diversity measures indicated that the M genogroup had three- to fourfold more diversity than the other genogroups and suggested relatively rapid evolution of the M genogroup and stasis within the U genogroup. We speculate that factors influencing IHNV evolution may have included ocean migration ranges of their salmonid host populations and anthropogenic effects associated with fish culture.