Fishing is a pastime that many in East Texas enjoy. Whether its bass or catfish or crappie, many love to get out on their boat every weekend and cast their lines for the day. The folks over at Texas Parks and Wildlife are in need of some help from Texas fishermen and fisherwomen. They have been getting reports of unusual spots on bass throughout the state and need your continued help reporting this so their researchers can investigate.

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If you are out bass fishing and catch one that has some unusual spots on it's body or in it's mouth, Texas Parks and Wildlife (TP&W) is asking that you take a picture of the fish and email it to them along with which lake you caught it in. TP&W does know that the spots are a form of hyperpigmentation/melanosis or Blotchy Bass Syndrome.

If you catch a bass with ink-like spots, please snap a pic and report location to cynthia.fox@tpwd.texas.gov. ...

Posted by Texas Parks and Wildlife on Wednesday, April 6, 2022

A study was done concerning this between 2012 and 2018 in Pennsylvania. The biggest takeaway of that research is that the lesions are from a virus but an origin of the virus could not be determined. The lesions were found in 3 to 13 percent of the bass that were collected for the study. The lesions were also determined to be noncancerous through microscopic analysis.

The better news to take from this is that, at least at this time, Blotchy Bass Syndrome will not transfer to humans or to pets. It is also safe cook and eat these fish.

If you happen to catch a bass with these unusual spots on it's body or in it's mouth, you are asked to take a picture of the fish and email the picture with where you caught it to cynthia.fox@tpwd.texas.gov. Researchers can then use that information to continue their study.

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