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Thread: White parasites on rainbow trout??

  1. #1
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    Question White parasites on rainbow trout??

    I caught a couple of beautiful rainbows this past weekend out of a lake north of Wasilla. The fish were in great shape, beautiful colors and lots of weight through the girth.
    Both fish had some sort of white specks attached to them in various parts of their bodies. At first sight before landing, it looked like the spots that can develope on spawning salmon when they start to deteriorate. But on closer examination these white specks seemed to be some kind of a parasite or kind of something similar to sea lice.
    I have never seen this on trout from anywhere until now.
    Can anyone out there give me any info on what this might be? Thanks for any replys.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gary W. View Post
    I caught a couple of beautiful rainbows this past weekend out of a lake north of Wasilla. The fish were in great shape, beautiful colors and lots of weight through the girth.
    Both fish had some sort of white specks attached to them in various parts of their bodies. At first sight before landing, it looked like the spots that can develope on spawning salmon when they start to deteriorate. But on closer examination these white specks seemed to be some kind of a parasite or kind of something similar to sea lice.
    I have never seen this on trout from anywhere until now.
    Can anyone out there give me any info on what this might be? Thanks for any replys.
    It is always bad to hear of this kind of stuff, but it is also not good to not hear what lake might be affected. What lake was it. There aren't any "secret" lakes in this vicinity and it might actually help get this under control, if candid information was shared with the community. In the interim, I suggest you contact the Palmer Office of the ADF&G and let them know of your findings. Better yet, take a sample to them, with specifics, date caught, and LOCATION. There are many parasites that can affect fish, particularly in lakes. When it happens, it means there is something wrong in the ecosystem of the lake or creek. A bunch of Rainbows are dying off in the Tal and Canyon creeks, a parasite that gets in their gills.

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    Member alaskachuck's Avatar
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    There are some bows that have them in the kenai. I usullay notice that the bows that have them are thin. We caught several in the 24 inch range that looked like torpedoes,. Not fat at all. Every thin fish had these things in the gills,. The fat hogs did not have any. So i am guessing it is hurting thier weight gain and the fish experts say they will not survive to many winters being so thin
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    Default I'm betting...

    ... they are a type of copepod.

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    Default Nothing to hide here.

    Sorry Akres if I did not post enough info for you. Maybe you should give me some information of your own when you reply to a question like mine, instead of telling me how sad you are. I'm sorry if my not mentioning the name of the lake is a problem for you. I just don't see where its necessary to provide this to you if you have no clues as to what the problem I described might be. I don't need a lecture from a stranger to know what I should do in this situation. I just returned from this fishing trip a few hours ago, and last I knew Fish and Game is not open on Sundays.
    Already had plans to contact them.
    Sorry don't mean to ruffle any feathers, but you sounded a little arogant to me in your post.

    Alaskachuck----Thanks for your input, Although this might be different than you describe from the Kenai. These fish have absolutely no problem with their weight. They are probably some of the largest girth fish in relation to length that I have ever seen in the Valley. I did not notice any parasites in their gills.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gary W. View Post
    Sorry Akres if I did not post enough info for you. Maybe you should give me some information of your own when you reply to a question like mine, instead of telling me how sad you are. I'm sorry if my not mentioning the name of the lake is a problem for you. I just don't see where its necessary to provide this to you if you have no clues as to what the problem I described might be. I don't need a lecture from a stranger to know what I should do in this situation. I just returned from this fishing trip a few hours ago, and last I knew Fish and Game is not open on Sundays.
    Already had plans to contact them.
    Sorry don't mean to ruffle any feathers, but you sounded a little arogant to me in your post.

    Alaskachuck----Thanks for your input, Although this might be different than you describe from the Kenai. These fish have absolutely no problem with their weight. They are probably some of the largest girth fish in relation to length that I have ever seen in the Valley. I did not notice any parasites in their gills.

    No problem at all. Information like this is a valuable tool for all of us. Glad they were fat and healty and keep us posted on what you do find out. I have seen these things in the kenai bows for that last couple of years. NOt alot of them but 1 in 10 maybe,. Just saying my thoughts and again Let us know what the fish experts have to say. Id like to hear thier thoughts
    Grandkids, Making big tough guys hearts melt at first sight

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    Default Did it look like this??

    Did it look like these? I caught and released this fish in Oct a couple years ago in Jean Lake on the highway to Sterling. I think it is some kind of parasite. It does look like a white colored sea lice. I dont know if they eventually kill the fish or not. I sure hope not.
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    Gary, I doubt that Akres has any ill intentions and he has been pretty helpful to alot of people. The lakes in the valley are stocked the stock reports are available as are all the results from ADF&G. The bigger issue here that I see is if there is a real problem with the lake and it is boat accessable then it would be good to know before I drop a boat in it and pick up the parasite then launch in another lake the next day which could spread the problem! Regardless I am curious what ADF&G has to say.

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    Gary,

    I have ran into this on Steelhead, which might explain the "skinny" rainbows on the Kenai. The problem is, it does not explain the problem that the lake may have. Please keep us posted as to what AF&G says. I am curious.

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    Default common copepod in southcentral lakes

    I've caught many fish in south central lakes that had these copepods on them. Usually, the fish are good sized ones, say 16" and up. Sometimes they have internal parasites to go along with the copepods. I caught a rainbow out of Big Lake last fall that had copepods. I killed the fish as it was gill hooked and bleeding badly. When I cleaned it, I was completely grossed out but what I found inside. Lots of white lesions on the belly walls and internal organs, and lots of very fine, white worms, some of which were at least a few inches long. I'm surprised the fish was alive. Needless to say, I didn't eat the fish.

    I took lots of pics of the fish, internal and external and sent them to biologist Dave Rutz in Palmer. He wasn't surprised at all and wasn't nearly as concerned as I was. I was surprised at his nonchalance, but I guess (based on his reaction) it's common for fish around here to have these sorts of parasites and that it's not a big deal to ADF&G.

    I'd attach pics but they aren't on this computer. If I remember, I'll attach some Wednesday.

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    Member DRIFTER_016's Avatar
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    Here's a sickly looking bow I caught in early September on the Upper Kenai.


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    Member alaskachuck's Avatar
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    That would be one of them torpedo's. Im sure his gills were full of the white lice looking things. They should never be that thin or sickly looking in mid september but there are a few around
    Grandkids, Making big tough guys hearts melt at first sight

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    Default Adf&g

    I caught a bunch like that at Lake Creek and Willow Creek this year and asked Sam Ivey at ADF&G in Palmer about them. He told me what they were, I think it was a copepod of some type as mentioned before. As I recall, He was aware of them but did not think they were parasitic in nature. They do cause problems when they cover the gills and prevent the flow of water over the gills. This reduces the uptake of oxygen and the oxygenation of the blood. This in turn will make the fish sluggish and they will get skinny. I would assume that they will likely die if the infestation continues but this is an assumption. Call your local biologist, they are a wealth of information and use what we tell them to keep up on how stuff is spread around.

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    Quote Originally Posted by akgiauque View Post
    Call your local biologist, they are a wealth of information and use what we tell them to keep up on how stuff is spread around.
    Uh Oh Now you are giving another sermon, Gary W ain't gonna like this.

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    ValcoBayrunner, your fish has a disease called Furunculosis. It's a completely different issue than copepods. The copepod in question is Salmincola. These parasites feed on blood and epithelial tissue. They can kill their host if the infestation is severe.

  16. #16

    Default Nanophyetus salmincola

    In my search of the web I came across this bad boy mentioned by FishGod. Unless my research is incorrect, Nanophyetus salmincola is a vector for salmon poisoning which can infect fish-eating mammals including you, me, our dogs, our cats, etc... All I have to say is forget the sushi - cook your fish well before you eat it or feed it to your pet.

    http://www.capcvet.org/?p=Guidelines_Trematode&h=0&s=0

  17. #17

    Default Copepod Quartz Rainbow

    By the way, this nice Quartz Creek rainbow had a few copepods on it as well - including one big one inside the mouth. It was catch and release, so I can only hope that it still has copepods on it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by DRIFTER_016 View Post
    Here's a sickly looking bow I caught in early September on the Upper Kenai.

    Its also been caught a million time, can't be to good for the fish...
    I choose to fly fish, not because its easy, but because its hard.

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    Default copepods too

    Quote Originally Posted by FishGod View Post
    ValcoBayrunner, your fish has a disease called Furunculosis. It's a completely different issue than copepods. The copepod in question is Salmincola. These parasites feed on blood and epithelial tissue. They can kill their host if the infestation is severe.
    If you look closely, valcobayrunner's fish has copepods too. Check the dorsal and pelvic fins. It sure is a robust fish for such heavy parasitism.

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    Default internal and external pics, 20" big lake rainbow

    Fish didn't look all that bad on the outside; a few copepods. But the inside was a mess.
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