2004 Cooperative Striped Bass Survey

Abnormalities and Fish Health Description

Fish diseases in the Chesapeake Bay and along the coast affect many species of fish and are dependent on a variety of environmental factors. The following are five common anomalies found in striped bass. Not all anomalies are life threatening. Just as you and I can catch a cold, fish can contract a bacterial infection or a virus. If any fish you catch exhibits one or more of the following anomalies, please indicate it in the appropriate area on your survey form.

Hemorrhagic Skin
Abnormal discharge of blood into tissues, into or from the body; the escape of blood from the vessels , bleeding.
hemorragic skin
hemorragic skin2
necrotic skin1
Necrotic Skin
There are 4 types of necrosis. In any case the affected area may appear: as an area of dead cells and tissues; dead tissue that appears firm and pale, as if cooked; dead tissue that appears semi-liquid; dead tissue that is soft and white, resembling cottage/cream cheese; or hard, yellow material seen in dead tissue.
necrotic skin2

Small, purplish, hemorrhagic spot on the skin. Specifically, pinpoint, non-raised, perfectly round, purplish red spot. Note: usually present on belly of striped bass.


An excavation or penetration through the skin into the muscle or abdominal organs.

Fish Health Hotline: 1-877-224-7229

If you would like to report a fish kill or have information for the Maryland Department of Natural Resources concerning sick fish you have caught or found call the toll free number listed above.