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The DWR is currently asking citizens, landowners, anglers, etc, to contact the DWR or DEQ if any diseased or distressed fish, or multiple dead fish are observed in the waterways. Fish with a bacterial infection will have “white patches” and distressed fish generally will not flee when approached. See below for how and when to report to DWR and/or DEQ.

Sick Fish 

If you see a diseased or distressed fish, please email a single picture of the fish showing the lesion or infection(s) along with the species of fish (if known), date of observation, and location fish was captured or observed (example:  North Fork Shenandoah River near Woodstock) to Jason Hallacher, DWR Fisheries Biologist for the Shenandoah River Watershed at

Dead Fish

Fish die of natural causes (even disease), so DWR does not want the public to report every individual dead fish that they observe.  However, if there is more than one dead fish observed in a reach of river/stream, please report this observation to DEQ in the Harrisonburg Office at 540-574-7800.   Make sure to note the date, location, species, size, and number of dead fish observed.