Sandy Flesh


Commonly Infected Wildlife

Fish. Large, adult walleye are the most commonly affected, although the disease has also been reported in adult perch.

Is This Animal Infected? 

The diseased flesh appears tough, granular, coarse, and yellow to brown, often resembling freezer-burned meat.

Can I Get It?

There is no known transfer to humans, but this disease has not been well studied.

How Bad Can It Get?

Humans are not known to be at risk for sandy flesh.

Symptoms in Humans

There are no known symptoms.

Sandy flesh shown in two filets
Sandy flesh
North Dakota Game and Fish Department

Protect Myself and Others

  • Dispose of fish in a trash receptacle, or bury it.
  • Do not discard in a water body, as the cause of this disease and its means of spread are unknown.

Safe for Pets?

No. The link between this disease and other animals is not known, so consumption by pets is not recommended.

What Causes It?

The cause of sandy flesh (myofibrogranuloma) is currently unknown. The disease is believed to lead to muscle degeneration, similar to muscular dystrophy in humans.

As of 2014, sandy flesh has not been reported in Missouri walleye, but it is common in the Midwest.