Anglers and fishery owners in Ireland are being asked to report any incidences of salmon with signs of red skin disease (RSD) to help determine the occurrence of the disease nationally.

It follows Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) receiving recent reports that small numbers of individual fresh-run wild salmon have been encountered in the River Deel, in the Moy Catchment, Co. Mayo and in the River Boyne displaying signs of RSD.Low incidences of RSD were first documented in 2019 in several European salmon stocks. In Ireland last year suspected incidences of RSD were reported in 113 salmon from twelve rivers throughout the country, mainly in June and July, with only occasional incidences reported prior to and after this time.

Salmon affected by RSD have a characteristic red-spotted rash on their under-belly and may appear lethargic or moribund. The rash can either be localised or extend along some or most the length of the fish. As the disease progresses, skin lesions, signs of bleeding and skins ulcers can develop primarily along the belly area and extend to the head and tail. Secondary fungal infection can further develop which may ultimately result in death of the salmon.

IFI staff are continuing to liaise with the Fish Health Unit in the Marine Institute and international colleagues to monitor and respond to the situation.

Until the cause of the disease has been determined and the risk of spreading the disease established, affected salmon should not be removed from the water.

Anglers who capture such salmon are advised to follow normal biosecurity procedures and disinfect tackle, waders and equipment.

Anglers should forward any reports of salmon with signs of RSD along with photographs plus an estimate of fish weight to
or call IFI’s 24-hour confidential hotline number on 1890 34 74 24 or 1890 FISH 24.