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Thread: Internal Growth in Meat of Chum Salmon

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2007

    Default Internal Growth in Meat of Chum Salmon

    Caught a bright chum at Amalga today. My friend wanted to keep it, so I filleted it. When I did so, there were nickel to quarter sized off-white growths in the flesh and similar, though smaller growths inside the rib cage. Pretty gross...I accidentally put some pressure on one of the growths and it spurted out water / puss? Obviously those pieces were cut out with some liberal space around them. Wish I had taken photos, but I didn't have my camera. Anyone ever seen this before?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2007

    Default In Coho

    I've seen similar pockets in coho fillets quite a bit, but they are usually pea sized. Good idea cutting them out, probably some sort of parasitic larvae. I doubt it would have been anything dangerous to humans but the idea of eating them would be pretty nasty.

    How did the chum taste?

    I ate the bright one I caught and it was awesome. That fish was darn near as fatty as a spring king. Bright chums sure are tasty.
    I'd agree with you, but then we'd both be wrong.

  3. #3
    Member Frostbitten's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Alaska - I wasn't born here, but I got here as soon as I could!

    Default I'm eating some freshly smoked chum

    as I type this...and it's DEEEEEEELICIOUS!!! You are probably right AKBoater in that the culprit is more than likely a parasitite. Easily killed by cooking, but the thought of eating a cooked parasite...yuck!

  4. #4
    Member fishNphysician's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Aberdeen WA


    Tapioca disease...

    Here's the scoop on those parasites:

    Henneguya spp.
    This myxozoan parasite forms small white or yellow cysts about the size of a grain of rice in the flesh of marine fishes like salmon, rockfish, and flatfish. These usually do not affect the flavor, texture, or safety of the meat, but one species H. salmonicola may produce visible cysts filled with milky fluid in coho and sockeye salmon, reducing the attractiveness of the flesh. However, this is not a common problem.

    Kudoa spp.
    Myxozoan parasites of the genus Kudoa form white cysts in the muscle of salmon and many other local marine fishes. The frequency of this problem is very low in wild-caught salmon. The cysts may be large enough to form noticeable white patches or streaks in the meat. After the death of the fish, the parasites release an enzyme that breaks down muscle tissue and causes the flesh to become soft and less desireable as food. The enzyme is fairly heat-stable and may continue to breakdown tissue even if the meat is smoked.

    Here's a photo from the PP board that is probably a case of the Kudoa species variety:

    (sorry photo deleted)

    The poster said, "The meat disolved and ran out into a "tomato soup" pool when I tipped up the fillets. GROSS!!! Both fillets off this fish were the same."
    "Let every angler who loves to fish think what it would mean to him to find the fish were gone." Zane Grey
    The KeenEye MD


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