Cultures of the redmouth (RM) bacterium, one of the etiological agents of redmouth disease in rainbow trout (Salmo gairdneri) and certain other fishes, were characterized by means of their biochemical reactions, by deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) hybridization, and by determination of guanine-plus-cytosine (G+C) ratios in DNA. The DNA relatedness studies confirmed the fact that the RM bacteria are members of the family Enterobacteriaceae and that they comprise a single species that is not closely related to any other species of Enterobacteriaceae. They are about 30% related to species of both Serratia and Yersinia. A comparison of the biochemical reactions of RM bacteria and serratiae indicated that there are many differences between these organisms and that biochemically the RM bacteria are most closely related to yersiniae. The G+C ratios of RM bacteria were approximated to be between 47.5 and 48.5% These values are similar to those of yersiniae but markedly different from those of serratiae. On the basis of their biochemical reactions and their G+C ratios, the RM bacteria are considered to be a new species of Yersinia, for which the name Yersinia ruckeri is proposed. Strain 2396-61 (= ATCC 29473) is designated the type strain of the species.