Mycobacteriosis Research

Stripers Forever’s Mycobacteriosis Research Initiative

“Learn about this disease and how you can help.”

Mycobacteriosis is an emerging infectious disease that affects well over 75% of the resident striped bass in Chesapeake Bay.  Signs of the disease include unsightly skin ulcers (Fig 1a) and pale gray nodular lesions in the internal organs, mainly the spleen (Fig1b). It is believed that once infected, striped bass ultimately die.


Annual striped bass tag-recapture studies in Maryland and Virginia waters indicate that since the late 1990’s and concurrent with the first reports of this disease, natural mortality (e.g. mortality other than that attributable to fishing) has gone up significantly in the Bay.  This has generated concern among scientists, fishermen, and resource managers that the disease is having significant adverse impacts on the stock.

One of our recent studies provides first evidence that disease-associated mortality is occurring in Bay striped bass. However, we do not yet know the extent of this mortality, nor do we understand the ecology of the mycobacteria (e.g. where in the environment they are found), the routes of transmission for the infection or the environmental stress (e.g. temperature, hypoxia etc.) that modulates disease expression.   We believe this infectious disease is a grave concern and that additional research is desperately needed to find answers to the many remaining scientific questions.

Dr. Wolfgang Vogelbein Virginia Institute of Marine Sciences Jan. 2011

So, how you can help combat mycobacteriosis in striped bass.
If you love stripers as we do, please contribute today to help defeat myco.  Contribution checks should be made payable to “VIMS Foundation”.  Write “For Myco Research” on the memo line and mail the check to:

Virginia Institute of Marine Science Foundation,
c/o The College of William and Mary
P.O. Box 1693, Williamsburg, VA 23187-8779.

All contributions to the VIMS Foundation are tax deductible and will go into an account dedicated to “myco” research.

Alternatively you can donate by credit card at this secure link to VIMS.

Also check out this piece by National Geographic:
Monsters In Our Waters – National Geographic


Honor Roll of Donors


Individual Donors
Organizational Donors
Francis P. Pandolfi, CT
Rhode Island Saltwater Anglers Association, RI
Edmund Mitchell, CT
Connecticut Fly Fisherman’s Association, CT
Frederick B. Jennings Jr.,   Peak Dawn Outfitters, MA
Fly Fishing In Maine, Maine (2 events)
Ronald Domurat, MA
Stripers Forever, USA
Bradford Ellis Burns, ME
CCA Maine
George S. Watson, ME
Dean L. Clark, MA
Duncan Barnes, ME
Capt. Kalil S. Boghdan, MA   Downriver Charters, MA
Capt. Jim White, RI   White Ghost Charters, RI
John Szot, NJ
Mark R. Alpert, CT
Alan Bedard, MA
Stephen G. Heinz, ME
Michael Horgan, MA
Kenneth Kulakowsky, PA
Andrew B. Murray, PA
Sam G. Nowell, NJ
Frank Retacco, NY
Howard Scheuenbrand, VA
Leroy Speechley, PA
John Stavrakas, MA
Jeffrey Thorp, NY
John Tiano, NJ
William T. Utley Jr. ME
Milton Ron Weber, DE
Stephen A. Karpowich, MA
Robert A. Clemente, VA
Charles W. Savage, CT
Mr. and Mrs. George W. Mesick, VA
Skip DeBrusk, MA
Daniel Watson, CT
Thomas A. Howe, NH
David P. Strelitz, ME
George Little, ME
David Langan, NJ
Michael Hobbs, CO
James McLaughlin, NJ
William R, Byrnes, MA
Martin J. Adamkiewicz, NJ
Mr. and Mrs. Theodore Kozlik  , NJ
Kevin F. Howley, ME
William J. Corkhill, ME
Charles S. Place, CT
Pete Barrett, FL
Roy N. Rogers, PA
Joseph Holl, NJ
Robert Johnson, MD
George Purnell, MD


Stripers Forever
57 Boston Rd
Newbury, MA 01951

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