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Doerf

I kept a few perch out of Pike Lake and when I cleaned them there were little yellow worm like things in some of them and little black dots of something in the others... obviously I didn't eat them, but I was wondering what that stuff was all about. anyone know?

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Nate McVey

"I got worms."

"Excuse me?"

"I got worms, that's what I'm going to call it."

(I can't help it, I love Dumb and Dumber)

I think it is a strain of worms, not sure what they are called, but a really good smallie lake in MI had the same thing. Black dots all over and worms inside. I think it's a good choice to not eat them.

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Trout_Slayer_77

The black spots are quite common and are harmless, although they can be somewhat unappetizing. Here is some info on them:

"Black spot, is a parasite of fish. This parasite has a life cycle that uses birds, snails and fish as the host animal. The adult parasite lives in the bird and sheds eggs that pass into the water. The parasite eggs hatch and infect snails. Larvae develop in the snail and then swim out from the snail into the water. When they find a fish, the larvae burrow into the skin or muscle of the fish and stop their development. When a bird eats an infected fish, the larvae develops into an adult parasite in the bird and the cycle begins again. The black spot parasite uses the kingfisher or gull as the host bird.

Cooking kills the parasites and they cannot infect people in any case."

The little yellow worms are pretty common as well and are harmless. Here is some info on them:

"The grubs that sometimes infect bluegills or other panfish are larval stages of a parasite called clinostomum. The adult parasite lives in fish eating birds like the great blue heron. Parasite eggs pass out of the bird and the eggs hatch in the water. Larvae from the eggs swim in the water until they find a snail, and burrow into the snail, where they develop into second stage larvae called cercariae. When cercariae are mature, they leave the snails and swim in the water until they find a fish such as a bluegill or other panfish. The cercariae burrow into the muscle of the fish where they develop into third stage larvae called metacercaria. When a heron eats the fish, the metacercariae develop into adult parasites in the bird and the cycle begins again.

The metacercariae that you see in the fish are killed by cooking, and in any case, they cannot infect people, only birds. In recent years the number of fish eating birds has increased in the Midwest and snail populations have survived well over mild winters. These conditions favor the parasite's life cycle. Until there are changes in the bird, fish or snail populations, it is likely you will continue to see infected fish."

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Jack Stasney

Its hard to find lakes around here where the fish (mostly perch) don't have one or the other of the two parasites you saw or both. The good news is that after researching it; and talking to people who studied parasites like this in college, they are harmless. Just make sure you cook them well. After a while you won't give it a second thought.

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kevheads

We fished Bowstring lake for years and ran into the yellow grubs every year.Any perch caught out of the weeds were usually full of grubs but the perch caught off the rocks had very few worms.Hold the filets up to the light to see the grubs in the filet. It is easy to pop them out with the filet knife tip,but if they had more than 5 or 6 we would pitch em.

Almost all of the bluegills down here in Illinois have black spots.They are harmless but I've seen them so bad it looked like someone sprinkled the filets with pepper for 5 minutes,those get pitched also.

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gritsnham

Good to know about the worms!! Was always told they were bad so never ate fish with them...another note is that worm infected fish usually have worms in the gills, so by looking under the gill plate you can see if a fish is wormy without killing it. So if your scared of worms still save some fish

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FishermanHart

Great Reply, nice to have people like you on here.

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EEBS

A lot of the times I have found that the perch you catch in the shallow waters/weeds have a lot of worms and black dots. If you catch perch in deep waters, there seems to be less of these parasites.

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Doerf

Thanks for the info. That's crazy how the cycle works...

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  • Your Responses - Share & Have Fun :)

    • mrpike1973
      Hi all hope to make it this Saturday. Depending on the snow coming we should be able to drive on correct?
    • Hoey
      This past weekend, only two were caught by our group of three fishermen and they were small, in the 10" range.  
    • Hoey
      Why not go out of Swift?  I nothing about the Warroad access, sorry.  
    • Hoey
      OK - we made it back!!!  Every trip is different with it's own potential perils.   I finally got into my house on Friday around 11am.  My guests were rookies, so i spent time with each of them, getting setup, heaters started, Vexilars set, houses banked, lines prep'd and set, bait, etc...  The bite was somewhat slow and many small ones.  The day got better 3 to 430pm.  Ended up with 6 nice eyes (19, 18x3, 17x2), 13 jumbos (most ever for a day), 12 small sauger which we ate for dinner.   On Saturday we headed up to the south shore of the Angle, longer ride, so again did not get started too early.  Ended up with our 6 eyes for our limit, these ranged from 15 to 16 inches and a 4-pack of sauger.  Again the bite seemed to pickup at 3 or so and was done by 430pm.   Ice as 3 foot or so.  Snow depth varied a lot, depending on the condition of the ice.  Smooth areas were blown off to crusty 6 inches or so.  Rough ice surely held a lot of snow.   The drive back on Sunday was somewhat tough from Baudette to Emily, winter storm warning.  Slow go, low visibility, and icy roads, sometimes down to 15 mph.   Next scheduled trip is with my wife, son, and three of his Gopher swim teammates for spring break in three weeks.  
    • Naturboy
      Those were caught from a shallow lake (17’) in 9 feet of water at the bottom of the first shoreline break. I was using a UV buckshot and minnow head since the water was murky. The crappie is still swimming the walleye not so much. I didn’t get the exact location. Sorry  
    • Sunset Lodge
      Hello from the NW Angle!

      Minnesota fishing has been most productive in 20-24 feet of water.  Guests are bringing home their limits of Walleye and Sauger with the occasional Perch and Northern mixed in. Fish have been most active early and late in the day and the bite has been terrific. The use of electronics continues to be very beneficial with fish taking jigging spoons, jigg’n raps or rattle baits.  Snowmobile ttrails on the Minnesota side continue to be maintained and are in great shape. We are still making ice, with most spots at over 30 inches. 

      North and East of us in Canada, big Crappies are coming in on light tackle setups out of 30 feet. If you are looking for walleye, they are everywhere!

      Until next week, 

      Sunset Lodge
    • JBMasterAngler
      On the Bayfield side of the bay, the target depth is typically 10 to 40 ft. The basswood island area is where they go after lakers. There’s a plowed road that goes out there. As of last week the ice was about 20 inches in that area, might be thicker now. Check out the Bayfield webcam, you can see what kind of activity is going on.
    • Jarrid Houston
      Wanderer, stop in at the River Rock bait shop in Ashland and they will get you pointed in the right direction.  They are always pretty cool about that.  Fishing near Ashland off of 2nd landing can be good.  Don't need nothing more than regular walleye gear, and some tip-ups and really there is no rhyme or reason where a guy should set up shop. Its a pretty wide open water and the fish that live there are always on the move. For us, most often, the sit and wait pays off.  It has been slower as of late, but still some fish..  Good luck, JH
    • cat44
      Anybody know if there is a pressure ridge/ice heave out in front of the Warroad Access? I know ice conditions will change throughout the coming weeks. Looking forward to getting after some pike.  The last few years there has been a pressure ridge there, last year it went from Springsteel over to Swift. And we've been up there plenty of times when there hasn't been one at all. Just curious to find out what conditions are like in that bay. Thanks!
    • Hoyt4
      Most likely our last trip up this year unless we go up for crappies but i'm running out of weekends. We had another great trip this weekend the fish are so fat this year more than I remember in the past.  Got my old man out for a good walleye bite he had a blast and caught a ton of fish. One day they just attached the bait as it was coming down they would come up and smash. Next day you put in the bottom and not even see the lure on the vex bring up a tad and they would smack it. Fun and a lot of snow hitting yesterday when we left.
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