Anglers and fishery owners are being asked to report any incidences of red skin diseases in salmon after reports of possibly infected fish in the Corrib.
Inland Fisheries Ireland says that it has received reports of salmon with symptoms of red skin disease (RSD) in both the Corrib and River Leannan, Co. Donegal.
Salmon with RSD have a characteristic red rash on their underbelly, and may also appear lethargic.
As the condition progress they develop skin lesions, bleeding, and skin ulcers along the belly, which then extend to the head and tail.
Secondary fungal infection can further develop which may ultimately result in death of the salmon.
Low levels of this disease were first documented in European fish stocks in 2019.
The disease has cropped up again in the past few weeks, with suspected incidences reported among returning salmon in Denmark, Norway and Scotland.
Last year in Ireland there were 56 documented cases of RSD among salmon in 17 rivers in Ireland, the majority of which were in June.
Dr Paddy Gargan, Senior Research Officer at IFI said, “We are asking anglers and fishery owners to remain vigilant and report any catches of salmon with signs of this disease to us as soon as possible within the constraints imposed by the COVID-19 National Public Health Emergency.”
IFI is liaising with the Fish Health Unit at Galway’s Marine Institute and international colleagues on this issue, as much as is possible within the constraints of Covid-19 public health restrictions.
As part of this, IFI is appealing for anglers and fishery owners to report any incidences of salmon with signs of RSD to IFI to help determine the occurrence of the disease nationally.
Those who catch potentially diseased fish should follow normal biosecurity procedures and disinfect tackle, waders and equipment.
Until the cause of the disease, and the risk of spreading it, has been properly determined, these salmon should not be taken from the water.
image credit: Inland Fisheries Ireland