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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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