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Thread: Aquatic identification help...

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    Member cube01's Avatar
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    Default Aquatic identification help...

    Good morning all,
    I was fishing a certain catch and release only lake up here in the valley and had two different fish spit one of these out after I handled them... Is this a white leach? I've never seen a white leach before, but white leach patterns do seem to work well on this lake.
    I also can't seem to find a picture of a white leach anywhere online, which is why I'm not sure if they even exist :-P

    Any input is appreciated... Thanks!

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    Also, these things were not alive or moving in any way when the fish spit them out...

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    Moderator hunt_ak's Avatar
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    Wow, never seen one of those before...

    Homerdave should be chiming in soon...

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    Believe it or not, that looks like a lamprey larvae or ammoceote. We have both anadromous and freshwater species in AK. They can live in lakes or streams. It's pretty common for fish to turn white in the stomach, the acid essentially cooks the meat. The pic below is a much smaller version of what you have there, but the resemblance is pretty strong.

    I'd agree with you, but then we'd both be wrong.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AKBoater View Post
    Believe it or not, that looks like a lamprey larvae or ammoceote. We have both anadromous and freshwater species in AK. They can live in lakes or streams. It's pretty common for fish to turn white in the stomach, the acid essentially cooks the meat. The pic below is a much smaller version of what you have there, but the resemblance is pretty strong.

    Very interesting thought...
    I'm not sure that is it though - the lamprey larvae have a skinny round body, while what I have is flat and wide. The body is also ribbed from head to tail (it is difficult to see in the pics, but it is most visible in the first picture), and a very opaque white.

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    Member kenaibow fan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cube01 View Post
    Very interesting thought...
    I'm not sure that is it though - the lamprey larvae have a skinny round body, while what I have is flat and wide. The body is also ribbed from head to tail (it is difficult to see in the pics, but it is most visible in the first picture), and a very opaque white.
    maybe it was a leach that turned white do to the stomach acides? Like mentioned before?

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    Member fishak's Avatar
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    when i was younger and played around alot at the lake near my house, i would see things like this in the water ground. one time i caught a fat minnow, not sure of what kind it was, and it got accidently squeezed and a white thing like that came out of it. possibly its eggs or something? i also did it to other fatter minnows and those things would come out. just a thought

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    Member G_Smolt's Avatar
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    Possibly a leech, but another possibility is tapeworm, or a piece of a tapeworm.

    For the best ID, lay it our flat, figure out which end is up and which is down, then take a few close up, in-focus pictures.

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    I've seen dead white leeches on the bottom of some lakes near here, and have found them in the stomaches of cutts. I think leeches might turn white when they die, because the only live adults I've seen in those lakes were black.

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    Quite suprised that others have not seen as many as I have. Yes we have lots of white leeches up here, in the creeks, rivers and lakes. They are dynamite Rainbow and Coho baits. Turn over some rocks and sunken wood. There you will find them. I search them out, sometimes looking for bait. Second best is a Black Daredevil, with white stripe. Big Rainbows and Coho eat them up almost as well but a real leech is best.
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    Member kenaibow fan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Akres View Post
    Quite suprised that others have not seen as many as I have. Yes we have lots of white leeches up here, in the creeks, rivers and lakes. They are dynamite Rainbow and Coho baits. Turn over some rocks and sunken wood. There you will find them. I search them out, sometimes looking for bait. Second best is a Black Daredevil, with white stripe. Big Rainbows and Coho eat them up almost as well but a real leech is best.

    really, even in streams? I have never heard nore seen one. That is pretty neat, I just learned some thing new for the day.

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    Member cube01's Avatar
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    Thanks for the input everyone - I'm going to try and find a live one to confirm!

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    Member Lake creek fishermen's Avatar
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    Looks like imma go leach huntin
    -Its better to die on your feet, than to live on your knees.
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    Tony Route's book "Flies for Alaska" mentions that some lakes have white leaches in his section on the lake leech
    I choose to fly fish, not because its easy, but because its hard.

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    I'm thinkin a tapeworm....either freshly pooped out, or the ones inside of sticklebacks (the ones with the huge bellies are not just full of food) I see lots of em, usually dead, out and about in Bristol Bay.

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    Member fishak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Catch It View Post
    I'm thinkin a tapeworm....either freshly pooped out, or the ones inside of sticklebacks (the ones with the huge bellies are not just full of food) I see lots of em, usually dead, out and about in Bristol Bay.

    this is what i was talking about, the ones in the sticklebacks

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    Mr. Cube, do you remember when I said that my buddy uses white lake leech patterns on that body of water???
    Hmmmmmm......
    I am not against the flippin kenai, since I cannot but suspect it keeps armies of the unworthy from discovering every other stream... ~Paul O'Neil~/~Wyo2AK~

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    Member Vince's Avatar
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    i have found up to 3 inch long Fluke worms in a few beaver ponds around wasilla as a kid... they were extra huge to the ones we could trap with a bit of meat in a jar... turned them over to the biologist in palmer back in the 80's... your jar specimans look a lot like them... but hard to say with those pics
    "If you are on a continuous search to be offended, you will always find what you are looking for; even when it isn't there."

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    Member Lake creek fishermen's Avatar
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    Im stilli thinking a tape worm too. Havent really done much searching but never saw any white leaches around. Hmmm
    -Its better to die on your feet, than to live on your knees.
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    Member cube01's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by muzzyman87 View Post
    Mr. Cube, do you remember when I said that my buddy uses white lake leech patterns on that body of water???
    Hmmmmmm......
    I certainly do, and that pattern has been very successful.. Although I did find a dragon fly nymph floating around, so I tied up some Morrison's and fished those -the fish went crazy for 'em... Like I said I have that lake dialed in!

  20. #20
    Member cube01's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lake creek fishermen View Post
    Im stilli thinking a tape worm too. Havent really done much searching but never saw any white leaches around. Hmmm
    I did some looking around for pictures, and it does resemble a tapeworm... Consequently I now feel sick to my stomach :-S

    Either way, I'm going to try and find one of these alive and observe it - that should give me some more information to go off of.

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