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Thread: Worms in Reds???

  1. #1
    Member Firefisher's Avatar
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    Default Worms in Reds???

    Last summer, my wife and I enjoyed the hell out of fresh sockeye sashimi and the roe marinated in soy sauce. Ate it just about every day we were on the Russian. UNTIL, that is, while filleting a fish, I found a belly full of clear, stringy, squiggly worms in the abdomen. It totally turned us off from the raw fish. Does anyone know if these parasites are common, and is it possible to get them from eating these fish raw? Thanks.

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    Member fullbush's Avatar
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    Heck yeah parasites are common. Thats why you're supposed to cook your fish unless you're Japanese and your digestive tract has been conditioned for centuries to eat raw fish. Maybe fishnphysician can weigh in on this.

  3. #3

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    Well I do know this, you should not eat the fish raw unless it has been frozen for 3 days. I have heard this from several different people and I would go by this. The beeing frozen for 3 days is suppose to kill anything in the meat. I smoked up a batch of fresh reds 2 summers ago. It was in the brine for 12 or so hours and then into the smoker. I went to check on it a few hours later and I was freakin horified with what I saw! Over half the pieces had worms crawling out of the meat and were squiggling around coming out of all sides...it was definately a site I did not share with my relatives who where here for the summer and were looking forward to the fish. I killed that batch bad..it was so over done and dry when I got done but I had to do it. Since then I make sure it is frozen for 3 days prior and I have never seen any "worm action" since even if I see them when I'm cutting them up. When I was growing up I never saw worms like I have in the last 3 or 4 years. Makes me wonder what is going on out there in our ocean...

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    I suppose, that since yer typin' yer doin' just fine, although, seein' either the round worms or the tape worms would throw someone off to eatin' fresh sashimi alla time, but hey, you hafta live a lil' don'tcha?

    Phish does it like this, carefully look for worms when butcherin' yer fish, & if you see some, throw those away, or give them to the dogs, if you don't see any while butcherin' you can then fillet them & then cut yer slices of meat very thin, & inspect for eggs in the meat, as it's the eggs that'll hatch in yer digestive system, & wreak the havoc...the worms themselves jess additional protien...

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    Member Firefisher's Avatar
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    mntmaster, your story make me barf a little bit! I'm from Ft. Lauderdale. We eat just about everything raw down here, Wahoo, Tuna, Cobia(lingcod). 15 years ago I would have been horrified by the idea, but sushi restaurants are exploding down here, and my taste for it has also. When I boat a big fish, my wife and I look forward to eating it raw, that night. I know some guys who carry wasabi and soy sauce on their boats! We eat a lot of salmon sushi (it's atlantic farm raised), so when we got into those reds, it just came naturally to us to eat it raw. Maybe not so this year. YUUUkkK!

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    Member Firefisher's Avatar
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    Fellas, my wife and I are going to be on the KP between the 19th and 30th (the russian campgroung 26-29th) in an RV. We're looking to do a halibut or halibut/silver combo trip out of Seward or Homer. Either way, we're looking to get into the fish, reds, silvers, rainbows. We're both experienced fisherman, and don't mind a hike. If you had an RV on the KP for those dates, what would you do??? Thanks a ton guys.

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    Member Frostbitten's Avatar
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    Firefisher - exactly what you are doing. In fact, I'll be at the Russian during the same time period. Explore the length of the Russian from the confluence to the upper boundary near the falls. You won't find a prettier river...but you should darn sure find some reds and plenty of rainbows.

    As far as the parasites are concerned - freezing will kill them, but the fish (parasite) must be held at -10 degrees F for a minimum of 14 days for freezing to be effective. This is essentially impossible in anything but a commercial freezer. The only other way to kill the parasites is cooking the fish to an internal temp of 150 degrees F. Eating these fish raw is a really, really bad idea.

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    Member Phish Finder's Avatar
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    I usually freeze reds for 36 hours but also frequently do as goalie described.

    I love it!

    If you buy sashimi grade fish at any market, you can almost guarantee that it hasn't been in a freezer for 2 weeks. It's best when the fish is still flopping
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    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    Freeze it for 72 hours is what we do. We had our first batch raw out of the Newhalen River, then read about the possible parasites online and changed our practices. The fish is every bit as good as fresh after just a few days in the freezer, and much safer as well.

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    I had a couple of those last year. The entire belly was full of them....around every organ, etc...they were also smaller in size compared to the other reds we caught, too.

    I took a Microbiology course at KPC this last semester and specifically asked Dr. Wartinbee, professor of Biology, about this when we were studying parasites. He said after what he knows about parasites and specifically about these worms in the reds, he doesn't even keep that particular fish, let alone eat it. (There is the whole legality of that as far as dip netting goes, tho, too.)

    The recommendation from him was also to freeze it for 7 days also, because they will move out of the flesh, as was stated above.

    Here's an interesting thread I found last year after finding the worms in my 2 fish: http://forums.outdoorsdirectory.com/...7-Silver-Worms!!!
    ~ Kristie~
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  11. #11

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    Every salmon has worms/parasites in it's flesh. Period. Some have them in their intestinal cavity. Freeze your fish and to be double sure, cook it well afterward.
    "96% of all Internet Quotes are suspect and the remaining 4% are fiction."
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    Kenai sockeye are notorious for hefty parasitic loads in their abdominal cavity. Most of these are ascarids (roundworms) but a few fish will also harbor cestodes (tapeworms). I've seen the tapeworms inside the intestines as well as laying free in the the belly cavity. The 6-10 inch long ascarid worms load up in the belly cavity like angel hair pasta or Japanese somen noodles... you could literally roll 'em up like spaghetti on a fork. The peritoneal membrane acts as a pretty good barrier and they do not burrow into the meat. Just wash 'em back into the river when you gut your fish.

    My bias is to only eat OCEAN salmon raw, never a river-caught fish. As others said, freeze the river fish hard before eating raw. Kinda changes the mouth appeal and texture for sashimi, but it's obviously safer. The only guarantee to dead parasites is overcooked fish. Even when I cook salmon, it comes off the heat source at a translucent medium rare and is allowed to rest a few minutes to "finish" to a very moist just-opaque medium. 10 minute total cooking time per inch of thickness tops. MMMMM.... HEAVEN! Worth the small risk to me. So far so good.
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    Member mossyhorn's Avatar
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    What about smoking fish fresh? Will a typical smoker get hot enough?

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    Default Ya bunch...

    o' Pansies! Scared to eat a lil' bit o' raw fish "Cuz it's got worms!"....

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    Member Kotton's Avatar
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    Last Friday we were all cleaning are catches and one of our buddies said one of his fish were full of worms,we were all busy gutting and he is a jokester so no one went to check it out.Now reading this thread I wish I did.that's why you don't eat fish raw,cook it and it will be just a extra seasoning

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    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
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    No, that's why YOU don't eat fish raw. I do and it is AWESOME! Tourists love it when I chop em up and eat em right on the bank. I am going to have to keep some of those little soy packets you get at the cheapo fast food style Chinese takout places, that would make it even better!

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    Member Firefisher's Avatar
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    When we got home from AK last summer, after eating all that Russian red sashimi, I just couldn't help but feel like I had a belly full of those ascarid roundworms (thanks Keeneye). My wife got me some internal parasite cleanse, which was basically ground black walnut shell. I took it for two weeks. Who knows if it worked or not, but it gave me a little piece of mind. What a shame. We're gonna be up there again at the end of the month, and I'm torn about eating it raw. One of our best dinners, and memories for that matter, was a platter of red sashimi, over a bed of rice, with a squeeze of lemon. That was before I found the worms. Maybe this year I'll serve it over a bed of noodles!

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    Default It doesnt get any better

    Caught the first Red of our trip this year at the Klutina a big chrome buck. We were so pumped we filleted it up and everybody in our group raised up our arms and cheersed with a piece of raw sockeye. Man it was good! Eagles overhead, salmon jumping, mountains in the distance and no one else around. It doesnt get any better than that. Im still around so the worms must not have done much damage if there were any. After reading this thread would I do it again........for sure. One of my best memories of the trip! Wash it down with an Alaskan Ale and a little extra spicy Tok Thai food and that should take care of any worms in the system haha.

  19. #19

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    something I forgot to add is I think everyone on this thread should watch the show Monsters inside me. It is a series that tells the lives of people who have gotten parasites and worms. Interesting show if you like watching this stuff.

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    Member L. G.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mntmaster View Post
    something I forgot to add is I think everyone on this thread should watch the show Monsters inside me. It is a series that tells the lives of people who have gotten parasites and worms. Interesting show if you like watching this stuff.
    Now that show is a real wake up call! I have this morbid fascination with it.

    Had relatives from DK get sick from eating fresh salmon prepared Gravad Lax style. I'm into freezing it now before making that stuff - which I LOVE!!!

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