TYLER, Texas (KETK) – Anglers could win prizes from Bass Pro Shops if they report signs of Blotchy Bass Syndrome (BBS), said the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.

People are being asked to help researchers from the United States Geological Survey (USGS) and West Virginia University. Bass Pro Shops is going to be donating gift cards to conduct weekly drawings.

If Anglers see animals with BBS they should make a note of it in the MyCatch app. East Texans should also submit photos, name of the waterbody where the fish was caught and the date they caught the fish to Cynthia Fox-Holt (Cynthia.fox@tpwd.texas.gov).

People can send photos until 11:59 p.m. central time on Dec. 31. Prizes will be drawn during the following weeks: Jan. 9 to 13, 16 to 20 and 23 to 27. If anglers catch more than one fish they can receive several prizes.

When animals have BBS, it causes them to have black-ink spots on their skin. This condition has been found in Texas and 17 other states.

“Even though BBS is associated with a virus, the fish generally appear to be in great condition and are actively feeding. The viruses that cause BBS have never been identified in humans or domestic pets and fish are safe to eat when properly cooked,” said TPWD.