Fisheries Management Scotland has been receiving reports of Atlantic salmon exhibiting signs of red ‘rash’, bleeding and/or ulceration. This issue also occurred in 2019 and 2020, however the reports from the biological sampling of fish have so far been inconclusive. Fisheries Management Scotland are liaising closely with Marine Scotland on this issue and we have produced an information sheet with some frequently asked questions.

In light of the increasing reports of this issue, a new publication Red Skin Disease in wild Atlantic salmon – a severity field guide has been jointly produced by Marine Scotland Science, the Environment Agency, Natural Resources Wales and Inland Fisheries Ireland. The field guide has been produced to standardise clinical reporting of RSD-like lesions to support ongoing monitoring of this condition across salmon rivers. It also serves to distinguish this emerging condition from other, frequently observed skin lesions in migratory salmonids.

f you encounter a fish exhibiting these symptoms (see images below) please contact the relevant district salmon fishery board and the Fish Health Inspectorate (details below). Fisheries Management Scotland are collecting data submitted by anglers and others through our app which is available below.

See also the advice on the Fish Health Inspectorate web page.



Typical signs – images courtesy of Reuben Sweeting







Contact Details for Fish Health Inspectorate

Fish Health Inspectorate
Marine Scotland
Marine Laboratory
375 Victoria Road
AB11 9DB

Tel: +44 (0) 131 244 3498
Fax: +44 (0) 131 244 0944

If an urgent matter related to the issues listed above arises outside normal office hours, you can telephone the On Call Inspector for assistance on +44 (0)131 244 1833.