Conservation News

Research to understand black blotches on black bass

Have you recently caught a black bass with black patches or blotches on its body in your favorite lake or stream? Researchers at West Virginia University and the U.S. Geological Survey would like to know as they are trying to document the occurrence of blotchy bass syndrome, diagnosed as black bass with patches of black pigmentation on their surface.

Recently, these researchers have determined that this condition is associated with a newly emerging fish virus from a group of viruses called adomaviruses. The researchers have partnered with Angler’s Atlas to better understand the distribution and prevalence of blotchy bass syndrome among bass populations in the United States and Canada.

They ask anglers to report all bass they catch, blotchy or not, through the Angler’s Atlas website or app. The event runs from July 1, 2022 through Nov. 30, 2022, and participation is free. Prizes will be awarded weekly and monthly throughout the study. For more information about this research, click here. To sign up to participate, you can either scan the QR code in the poster in this email, or click here.