Can Fish Get COVID-19? Here’s What We Know

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Worried that your latest catch might give you COVID?

It goes without saying that 2020 was pretty wild. In a year filled with major news stories, though, the biggest was the rise and spread of the novel Coronavirus. The entire world was affected in many ways, with the U.S. fishing industry seeing numerous changes as well. Tournaments across the country were either cancelled or postponed. Bait shops were required to enforce mask regulations and social distancing. Many friends and colleagues within the industry found themselves afflicted with the virus as well.

But it seems most people focused primarily on the human aspects of the Coronavirus.

Other than perhaps in light-hearted memes on social media, however, nobody seemed to be asking if fish could contract COVID-19.

What We Know About COVID-19 and Animals in General

When it comes to truly understanding the virus behind a global pandemic, nobody really seems to know what is going on. At least that is an easy perception to have from following news stories for the past year.

As millions of Americans are receiving vaccinations for the virus, though, what about our pets? What about birds, bears, deer, and, yes, fish?

A full year after the spread of the virus, the Center for Disease Control is still working under the belief that the virus originated from a bat in China (or maybe it was a pangolin). It is believed that several animals, such as dogs, cats, fruit bats, tree shrews, hamsters and ferrets are capable on contracting the virus. A handful of these are also capable of transmitting it to other animals of the same species in controlled tests.

Several breeds of monkey are also capable of contracting the virus. Ducks, pigs, chicken, and mice, on the other hand, are not prone to infection in lab tests.

The good news, though, is that the risk of spread from these animals to humans in considered quite low.

What About Fish? Can They Get COVID?

Unfortunately, testing has not proved conclusive on fish at this point. The CDC has not made a determination about the majority of species yet, including fish.

As has been the line for sure time, the CDC has stated that additional testing is required before making a determination.

Given the understanding that transfer rates between animals and humans is low, however, you should probably to safe to hit the water this Spring!

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