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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Perch that we have caught in a particular lake lately have had small worm like things in them when we fillet them, in the actual meat portion of the fish. Anyone have any idea what they could be. We found them in almost all of our perch and the ones that had them had wierd black dots all over their skin. Any help would be appreciated.
 

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i've seen them mostly in sunfish in inland lakes. I haven't fished many inland lakes for perch so I don't know how prevelant it is in the perch. I personally do not eat the meat, as its my personal preference. I have stopped keeping sunfish from many lakes that i fish because of this. Seems like the bluegill out of the same water rarely have them, maybe has to do with something in their diet.

On LSC quite of the perch have little hard dots in their flesh. I believe they are caused by something else, but I have yet to get one with anything living in the flesh. I have eaten MANY a fillet with these black dots and never have any problems.

steve
 

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The black dots didn't bother me it's just the worms in these perch. there is about 20 or more in them. I really cant bring myself to eat them now. Nothing in the numerous splake we caught though from the same lake.
 

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From my experience perch get grubs about the worse of all fish, but I see them in gills and other fish too. I'd imahgine most any fish can catch them. I've encountered all kinds of things from tumors, black dots, and on some gills when you gut them out theres kind of like a mudvayne on the very back top of theyr ribs, some times it has a smooth silver lining, and others will have weird white bumps all over them.

Mebbe I should be doing a little less inspecting and a little more eating.... :D
 

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On one lake that we fish, pretty much all of the gills are grubby. I never keep them, but I've heard of people eating them with no problems.
 

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Worms and grubs are two different things.

Grubs are what make the perch look speckled - black dots that turn out to be hard black nodules embedded in the flesh. I prefer not to eat them and usually toss them back if I get a fish with them in. There's no way I know of to get all of them out of the flesh without spending 17.4 hours per fillet.

Worms are another story. They're red and normally reside in the guts of perch. I have yet to see them in any other type of fish. When the fish dies, they start to migrate into the flesh. You'll never see a perch with red worms in the flesh that was alive when you started to clean it. This migration goes faster the warmer the fish is. When you find one in a fillet, simply grab an end and gently pull it out. It's fast and there usually are none or very few in the flesh. (At least for me - I like to keep the fish alive and cold until I clean them, then just cold until they hit the frying pan. :) )

Now where abouts is that lake... I've never caught a splake. ;) :D
 

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I have seen quite a few farm ponds that have the little white grubs in the meat of bluegills. They seem pretty nasty so I don't eat them. I am sure that there are other micorscopic organisms living in the meat that I cannot see, so I guess if its out of sight its out of mind.
 

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More protein! I've caught Perch with the worms in them from a lake in the UP. Not very nice to look at but they fry up just fine. I asked the local DNR officer about it and he said they could cause no harm. :)
 

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i knew something caused those black dots in the flesh. You say you throw the ones with them back, how can you tell? i've never caught a perch that had any markings on it that would leave me to believe it had them in it. Of course, most of the perch i have caught has had relatively few (at the most maybe 20) of the dots in their flesh.

As for the white worms, I disagree it only happens with dead fish. I had some live (swimming around in the sink beforehand) sunfish and it was filled with them off white worms. Too gross for me, I just couldn't eat em.

steve
 

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Both are found in lakes with alot of waterfowl. It 's from a parasite that starts out in a snail, then to a duck, then to the plankton, then to the fish.The little black specks are fine, but the white grubs should be picked out of the flesh before cooking.
 

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A few years ago we caught some walleye that we found white grubs / worms in the flesh of some but not all fillets. We also caught trout in the same river and none of them had the grubs.

I called the DNR and talked to a fisheries biologist. His comments were:

1) No problem at all eating the fish you caught.

2) If you were to look at any fish flesh under a microscope you would not want to eat it.

Now I see why so many people practice C & R. :eek:
 

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If you look at a perch that has grubs, you can see the tiny black dots on their skin. I just release that ones that have a lot of them and flick the black dots out of the ones that have only a few. I've seen these in several different species of fish.

I think we may be talking about two different kinds of worms. I'm referring to the red worms that are usually coiled up in the gut cavity. I've never seen these in anything but perch. When the fish dies, they start to migrate into the meat. I've never seen a fish with a white worm in it (and I don't think I want to either)! :eek:

I have seen the pinkish white warty crap on walleye - I don't eat any fish with that on, even though they say it's 'safe'.
 

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I've seen the white "worms" in perch caught in Couchaching (adjacent to lake Simcoe in Ontario). Concerned, I contacted the MNR. He said the same thing as previously mentioned, it's part of the bird/fish lifecycle.

No harm in eating it - I can attest, I did not get ill in anyway. Of course, knowing it's there it probably worse than it actually is. I always cook my fish thoroughly.

Not to be a buzzkill, but I'd be more worried about chemicals, etc. that you would not see. The DNR does have that chart showing the limits of how much fish you should consume from various bodies of water.
 

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I've been told the black dots are called pepper grubs or fish ticks. No, not fish sticks, fish ticks.;) I was told they will not harm you if eaten.


The worms...I haven't come across them but it sounds pretty sick. I would probably pass on worm perch filets!

my 2 cents
 

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Neither the worms in the fish or the black spots on the outside will harm you if you cook the fillets. Even if you didn't the probability would be low that would catch any diseases. Someone said earlier that they are transmitted through birds and that is correct. The "Freshwater Angler Series: Panfish" book discusses this and shows pictures. They basically said they are harmless.

Zob
 
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