The microbial spoilage pattern was studied for nonirradiated and irradiated (100 and 200 krad) vacuum-packed trout during storage under melting crushed ice. Total microbial count from original nonirradiated fish before storage amounted to 5 x 10/sup 3//g. The value increased to 5 x 10/sup 8//g for the vacuum-packed nonirradiated sample after one month storage. At the end of the same period, total counts in fish treated with 100 and 200 krad increased to 10/sup 7/ and 5 x 10/sup 6/ per g, respectively. Microorganisms isolated from nonirradiated starting material, in order of decreasing number, consisted of Pseudomonas, Flavobacterium, Achromobacter-Moraxella, yeasts, Bacillus, Proteus, Aeromonas, Micrococcus, and few Lactobacillus and Corynebacterium. During storage and with the program of spoilage, the pattern of the microbial flora was shifted. Pseudomonas, initially dominating, were almost eliminated after two weeks storage, while Bacillus and Proteus became predominant. In the irradiated fish, regardless of the dose, Achromobacter-Moraxella, Micrococcus and Lactobacillus became dominant throughout the storage period.