Channel catfish covered with leaches

Discussion in 'Channel Catfish' started by neocats, Nov 8, 2006.

  1. neocats

    neocats New Member

    Messages:
    2,130
    State:
    Steubenvil
    I recently saw a channel cat that was covered in little small leaches. What kind of situation would cause this to occur. Does anyone have any ideas why a cat would be this way?
     
  2. BIG GEORGE

    BIG GEORGE New Member

    Messages:
    10,362
    State:
    JOISY
    In the summer I catch an ocasional one with the same thing. I can only believe that it has somethin to do with where they are hangin out at a givein time. I guess leeches are gonna latch on to what they can when they can.
     

  3. trnsmsn

    trnsmsn New Member

    Messages:
    1,214
    State:
    Missouri Originally Now I
    I have seen this before when I lived in MO., It was usually in the backwaters of the Missouri River when the water level was low
     
  4. bhunt

    bhunt New Member

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    156
    State:
    *Required*
    I think it would be normal because cats have skin knot scales so it would be easy for the leeces to get blood out of them.
     
  5. catman529

    catman529 New Member

    Messages:
    817
    State:
    Tennessee
    I never caught a cat covered in small leeches but my ankle once had about 7 real small ones sucking at one spot, hard to pull off with their small size. I had been walking barefoot in soft mud in the water. Also I caught a shiner in my cast net w/ a leech on the roof of its mouth. The biggest one I have seen was about 2 inches long w/ interesting markings/patterns on its back and full of live baby leeches attached to its underside. I found it under a rock and I still have it.
     
  6. s_man

    s_man New Member

    Messages:
    3,012
    State:
    south east ohio
    They also might be larvel mussels. Most if not all freshwater mussels use a host fish to disperse themselves throughout the water ways. The eggs attach to the fish, hatch, then fall off when they reach a certain size. Then they bury in the bottom and grow their shells. Most mussel species can only use a certain species of host fish. Once that fish is gone through polution or other factors so to goes its mussel species.
     
  7. kat in the hat

    kat in the hat New Member

    Messages:
    4,875
    State:
    Missouri
    Huh. Interesting. I don't have input, but that's cool. I guess we're not the only ones who find catfish tasty.
     
  8. CJ21

    CJ21 New Member

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    4,303
    State:
    Montgomery, Alabama
    I wonder do the leaches kill the catfish?
     
  9. s_man

    s_man New Member

    Messages:
    3,012
    State:
    south east ohio
    No they don't kill the host. They need them to disperse through the system, just like a TAXI. I'm not even sure if they feed on the host. I can't remember reading that they do. Remember mussels are filter feeders. So i'm assuming they are just hitching a ride. And using the host fish for protection from predators till they get big enough to bury themselves.
     
  10. darinspawn

    darinspawn New Member

    Messages:
    28
    State:
    North Dakota
    catch these alot in smaller water ways and creeks.

    leeches gotta eat too.
     
  11. steveg442

    steveg442 New Member

    Messages:
    225
    State:
    missouri
    I've caught a couple this summer with the same thing. The ones I've seen were on the under side of the mouth.
     
  12. bobby-catfishing

    bobby-catfishing New Member

    Messages:
    404
    State:
    Highland Villag
    It's pretty common down here. They will usually have several on the underside of their mouths. About 1/3 of the channel catch will have these.
     
  13. WylieCat

    WylieCat Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    7,160
    State:
    NC
    The channel cats around here have small parasites on them all the time. I am not sure if they are leeches, but they do attach themselves to the catfish.