ROANOKE, Va. (WFXR) — The Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources (DWR) confirms it has found a variety of fish with lesions on the Jackson River between Covington and Clifton Forge. The fish were collected during an electrofishing survey last week.
The survey was done in response to reports from a local fishing guide that nearly half the smallmouth bass his clients caught had lesions. The DWR found lesions on smallmouth bass, as well as lesions on rock bass and redbreast sunfish.
While the fish had lesions, they appeared to be healthy.
The fish have been sent to a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service lab in Pennsylvania for analysis. A cause for the lesions will not be determined until that testing is complete, which could take a few days.
Experts say the lesions could be the result of a parasite, environmental toxins, bacteria or viruses, or a predator.