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Thread: Sea Lice: Good or bad

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    Default Sea Lice: Good or bad

    Perhaps someone on here can help me understand this. Are the sealice I see on salmon in the salt a good thing or bad? See so much stuff in the news about sealice infestations and so forth so had to wonder. Are they only found on salmon or other ocean fish as well?

    Thanks!

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    Member Frostbitten's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kimjn View Post
    Perhaps someone on here can help me understand this. Are the sealice I see on salmon in the salt a good thing or bad? See so much stuff in the news about sealice infestations and so forth so had to wonder. Are they only found on salmon or other ocean fish as well?

    Thanks!
    They are neither good, nor bad, they just are....

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    Quote Originally Posted by Frostbitten View Post
    They are neither good, nor bad, they just are....
    I agree with one exception; when I see them on a freshwater caught fish I deem them as "good", an indicator that the fish is a new arrival and top quality table fare .

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    Quote Originally Posted by .338WM View Post
    I agree with one exception; when I see them on a freshwater caught fish I deem them as "good", an indicator that the fish is a new arrival and top quality table fare .
    what he said



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    I'm going to be like other posters and tell you the fish are nnnooo goood. But send them my way so I can at least do a taste test if it is cold and iced out. I'll forward the results to an independent entity to concur or just disagree. The end results will be published in the next recipe book i put out. PM me for mailing instructions!!!
    If a dipnetter dips a fish and there is no one around to see/hear it, Did he really dip?

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    Quote Originally Posted by kimjn View Post
    Perhaps someone on here can help me understand this. Are the sealice I see on salmon in the salt a good thing or bad? See so much stuff in the news about sealice infestations and so forth so had to wonder. Are they only found on salmon or other ocean fish as well?

    Thanks!
    Yeah, they are just a way of life with salmon. In saltwater it's quite common to catch salmon and halibut with sea lice on them. In fresh water it is my understanding that sea lice will die and drop off a salmon within about 24 to 48 hours, so if you catch one in a river that still has sea lice on it then you know the fish has only been in the river for a day or two. They are parasites, so they are living off the fish that they are living on, but they don't do anything to the fish that will harm you. I just scrape them off with my filet knife.

    The sea lice you might be hearing about in the news are a species that will attach themselves to you while you are swimming. I don't think you're going to have much of a problem with that in Alaska.
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    So the sealice in question are a completely different species. Sure looks identical in the photos I have seen. In the articles I have read biologists are afraid these sea lice are going to attack fish in a bad way, maybe even kill them.

    Muttley: You sure about that info? Are you telling me I can't skinny dip in Seward anymore??? Must be a reason why these biologists are so worried, even up here. Does it have to do with the immune system of the fish maybe? Makes the fish more susceptible to attack?

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    There are different classes and genera of parasitic arthropods. Many look very similar, but have very different life histories. The species we have up here are from a different species of copepods compared to the ones in B.C. fish farms.
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    Quote Originally Posted by kimjn View Post
    So the sealice in question are a completely different species. Sure looks identical in the photos I have seen. In the articles I have read biologists are afraid these sea lice are going to attack fish in a bad way, maybe even kill them.

    Muttley: You sure about that info? Are you telling me I can't skinny dip in Seward anymore??? Must be a reason why these biologists are so worried, even up here. Does it have to do with the immune system of the fish maybe? Makes the fish more susceptible to attack?
    Well I've lived up here for 20 years and I've never heard of anyone being "attacked" by sea lice while swimming, but I don't think in all those years I've ever actually SEEN anyone swimming in either Res or K-bays. Where did you hear that? I'd really be interested in reading about it. There are about 10,000 different species of copepods (sea lice), so it's kind of difficult to "pigeon hole" all of them into one "dangerous" group.

    I've also never heard of it affecting the immune system of salmon, either. I'm not a marine biologist, but like I said, in the 20 years I've been catching and eating salmon and halibut I've never had any problems with sea lice and, though I've never really kept count, I don't ever recall catching a salmon that didn't have at least a few sea lice on them. I suppose if a salmon was completely covered with them it might be a problem, but in the few thousand salmon and halibut I've caught in my Alaskan lifetime I've never seen one that badly infected.
    Year round saltwater fishing adventures in Homer, AK.
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    Default salmon toilet paper?

    did alil research. since they feed on mucus, my guess is they are regulators helping maintain a balance. maybe as mucus is replenished, they eat the old/dying stuff, especially at anal area, wher they seem more apparent- maybe more replenishing there where infection has higher chances. jst my guess.

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    Thank you all for the great answers. (You too hkr!) I think I have a better understanding of the issue, finally.

    Never seen anyone swim in the ocean up here Muttley? I have gone for short laps in Seward, Whittier and Homer. My favorite was actually off the beach at the Homer Spit. Very "refreshing"!!! Valdez is next. Ha!

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    Quote Originally Posted by hkr View Post
    did alil research. since they feed on mucus, my guess is they are regulators helping maintain a balance. maybe as mucus is replenished, they eat the old/dying stuff, especially at anal area, wher they seem more apparent- maybe more replenishing there where infection has higher chances. jst my guess.
    The reason you find them near the anal fin is due to that area being very hydrodynamic compared to other parts of the body. It's easier for these parasites to stay attached in this area compared to other areas of the fish. They can and do leave a lasting mark after they have detached. This is due to the slime layer being disturbed. See attched pic. There are no human health concerns associated with Alaska's parasitic arthropods. Here's a useful link; http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/static/sp...sease_book.pdf

    .fish pics 019.jpg
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    The question about being "attacked" by sea lice was also considered in this thread:
    http://forums.outdoorsdirectory.com/...e-correct-name
    (Follow some of the links for stories of man-eating isopods!)
    Inspiration is simply the momentary cessation of stupidity.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Seraphina View Post
    The question about being "attacked" by sea lice was also considered in this thread:
    http://forums.outdoorsdirectory.com/...e-correct-name
    (Follow some of the links for stories of man-eating isopods!)
    Sea lice are COMPLETELY different organisms than isopods.
    01[1].jpg Isopod




    Copepod (Sea Lice)
    )Lepeophtheirus_salmonis[1].jpg
    Your bait stinks and your boat is ugly

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    Quote Originally Posted by FishGod View Post
    The reason you find them near the anal fin is due to that area being very hydrodynamic compared to other parts of the body. It's easier for these parasites to stay attached in this area compared to other areas of the fish. They can and do leave a lasting mark after they have detached. This is due to the slime layer being disturbed. See attched pic. There are no human health concerns associated with Alaska's parasitic arthropods. Here's a useful link; http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/static/sp...sease_book.pdf

    .fish pics 019.jpg

    thnx for the informative link.
    it does make make more sense-abt the hydrodynamic pocket. got me rethinking, w/salmon in motion, can any discharge actually be of any contaniminant to that area? probably nil, jst flows on by. thnx agin for the educational help!

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    Quote Originally Posted by FishGod View Post
    Sea lice are COMPLETELY different organisms than isopods.
    Yes clearly, that's why I specified isopods, instead of copepods or arthropods, and why I put it in parentheses.
    Inspiration is simply the momentary cessation of stupidity.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kimjn View Post
    Thank you all for the great answers. (You too hkr!) I think I have a better understanding of the issue, finally.

    Never seen anyone swim in the ocean up here Muttley? I have gone for short laps in Seward, Whittier and Homer. My favorite was actually off the beach at the Homer Spit. Very "refreshing"!!! Valdez is next. Ha!

    skinny as in birthday suit? i dont believe u. pics plz. lol ...valdez? u crazy?! didnt u hear abt the man eating "isocopod"?

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    Quote Originally Posted by thewhop2000 View Post
    I'm going to be like other posters and tell you the fish are nnnooo goood. But send them my way so I can at least do a taste test if it is cold and iced out. I'll forward the results to an independent entity to concur or just disagree. The end results will be published in the next recipe book i put out. PM me for mailing instructions!!!
    what he said

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    substitute them for clams in your Chowda....mmmm good! just like campbells chunky!

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