Tapeworm in Channel Catfish?

Discussion in 'Channel Catfish' started by HeartofDixie, May 28, 2007.

  1. HeartofDixie

    HeartofDixie New Member

    Messages:
    38
    State:
    Blountsville, Alabama
    I just finished cleaning a few channel cat we caught last night. I always fillet them because we don't like messing with the bones. Anyway, one fish had little "pod" looking things in the meat. I set those two fillets to the side to let my wife look at them. Anyway, I found what appeared to be a tapeworm. Has anyone heard of this? Or was it something else? We threw those fillets away. Didn't want to take any chances with it.
     
  2. gcarlin

    gcarlin New Member

    Messages:
    1,353
    State:
    Richmond ,Indiana
    A FEW YEARS AGO I WAS FISHING A FARM POND FOR BLUGILLS AND RAN INTO THE SAME THING.HATE TO SAY IT BUT WE ALSO THREW AWAY THOSE FISH FOR FEAR OF TAKING THE CHANCE.VERY GOOD QUESTION.
     

  3. JMarrs328

    JMarrs328 New Member

    Messages:
    471
    State:
    York/Harrisburg, PA
    Its probably not a tape worm, but def sounds like some kind of parasite. My great grandmother had a pond that used to be amazing for fishing, but the fish became infected w/ some kind of parasite so they drained the pond. Why would u just throw them away though? Use them for bait at least.
     
  4. Sparky Larson

    Sparky Larson New Member

    Messages:
    539
    State:
    Marlette Michigan
    Tape worm does not infest the meat. What I understand is, the tape worm is only in the intestinal track. Here in Michigan, this year they have found tape worms in the walleye that are coming out of the Bay (Lake Huron). The DNR says they are not harmful if eaten. The problem is, the fish aren't growing at the rate they should.
    I have know Idea what you have found in the catfish you filleted, but if you find it again, take it to your local DNR office to see if it can be indentified.
    Sparky
     
  5. GMC FishHauler

    GMC FishHauler New Member

    Messages:
    1,335
    State:
    Waco, Texas, Un
    in alot of warm water areas there is a small parasite (worm) that infects the meat of fish. It will mainly attack the bass and other scaled fish. It seems to be in more stock tanks than larger waters.
    The bright side, these worms do not hurt the meat. If u are really worried about them then pick them out with the tip of the fillet knife outta the fillets. I do not even worry about them unless they are really thick in the fillets.
    If u pick one of these parasites out u can unfold that "pod" and they will look like worm.
     
  6. JPritch

    JPritch New Member

    Messages:
    1,852
    State:
    Lynchburg, VA
    I guess to each their own!

    But for me, I wouldn't eat a fish that had worms in it. I'm pretty sure cooking will kill all the parasites, but just knowing those things were in the meat would be a no go for me.
     
  7. HeartofDixie

    HeartofDixie New Member

    Messages:
    38
    State:
    Blountsville, Alabama
    THis was definately a tape worm. I saw it laying on my table. It probably did come out of the stomach because I have a habit of cutting it open to see what they are feeding on. About the parasites and worms in the meat? Cooked or not, I am not going to eat it.
     
  8. ka_c4_boom

    ka_c4_boom New Member

    Messages:
    2,252
    State:
    Bedford,Ky
    if your not going to eat the fish you clean then by all means dont bother cleaning them , i was in canada fishing for smouth bass every fish we cleaned had small white worms in them they looked like maggots but tasted like fish i still have some in the freezer and they still have worms in them and il bet they still taste like fish

    you ever eat mullberries from a mull berry bush they have worms in them and you know what them worms taste like mull berries
     
  9. Dave L

    Dave L New Member

    Messages:
    1,012
    State:
    Minnesota
    I would eat it also. Just adds a little protien to your diet. And like others have said, once it is cooked you wont even know it's there.
    Suggestion: Don't tell the wife and kids and all will be ok.:big_smile:
     
  10. ateamfisherman

    ateamfisherman New Member

    Messages:
    297
    State:
    Texas
    when it bothers a person sure makes the fish go fsrther.
     
  11. Eric Wood

    Eric Wood New Member

    Messages:
    26
    State:
    manitoba
    In manitoba on the Assiniboine River, buddy wanted to keep a channel and wanted to see what they ate. so, what we found after taking a look at the stomach was a tapeworm before anal, what can we do as catfisherman to help these wonderful gamefish. any possible answers email at newwood_gowood@yahoo.co.uk
     
  12. Darby

    Darby New Member

    Messages:
    4
    State:
    Kentucky
    I agree with Sparky...take it to DNR and see if they know what it is.
     
  13. MichaelP

    MichaelP New Member

    Messages:
    284
    State:
    Arizona
    They were most likely tapeworms and not even worth the risk of eating. All it takes is one larvae to come out of the cooking unscathed and they can end up in your liver, your brain, etc. definitely not worth the risk. There many different infection routes I can think of, I mean, channels eat duck poop, small dead rodents, all kinds of unsavory things. Anything that looks abnormal, its better off putting it in the garbage or burning it.
     
  14. Eric Wood

    Eric Wood New Member

    Messages:
    26
    State:
    manitoba
    my friend caught a channel, he wanted to keep it to try how the meat tasted. He gutted the fish on the shore opened the stomach, and before the anal part of the small intestines i guess there was a tapeworm moving in there. the channel was a bit big to keep. what can be done, i heard not much.
     
  15. catfisherman_eky3

    catfisherman_eky3 New Member

    Messages:
    2,296
    State:
    Kentucky
    if i see a tapeworm in a fish i wont eat it
     
  16. Bayoubear

    Bayoubear New Member

    Messages:
    425
    State:
    near that hellhole dallas
    ive found a cyst or two in the fillet meat of some catfish. dont know if it was tapeworm larvae? liver flukes? got me in the habit of holding each fillet up to the sun or other light source to see if meat has any cysts in it.
     
  17. Junior42

    Junior42 New Member

    Messages:
    500
    State:
    Catlettsburg, KY
    I wouldnt eat it either. To me that's just sick.
     
  18. wayne1967

    wayne1967 New Member

    Messages:
    528
    State:
    Missouri
    Found this online:
    Yellow grub

    Your description suggests you observed encysted metacercariae larval stage of the yellow grub (Clinostomum) parasite. The encysted, yellow to yellowish white worm can be up to 1/4 inch in length. It can be found in virtually all species of North American freshwater fish.

    The yellow grub is a digenetic trematode. These types of parasites require several hosts to complete their life cycles. In the case of the yellow grub, the adult parasite is found in the throats of fish eating birds, such as herons. During the feeding process, eggs produced by the adults are washed out of the bird's mouth and into the water. There they hatch, yielding a free swimming larval stage (miracidia) that will die within several hours if it does not find and infect a snail of the genus Helisoma. After further development within the snail, a free swimming cercaria leaves the snail and seeks a fish host. The cercariae burrow through the skin of the fish and encyst, where they develop into the metacercariae. These yellow grubs may live several years in the fish. If the fish is eaten by the bird host the larval metacercariae will develop into adult parasites, completing the life cycle.

    Infestations by a few individuals likely cause little harm to fish, however, under certain circumstances, heavy infestations can kill fish. Yellow grubs are described as unsightly by fishermen. A related species occurring in Asia has been found to infect the upper respiratory tract of humans. Thorough cooking kills the North American yellow grub and the parasite does not alter the flavor or the infected fish; however, fish with heavy infestations are typically not eaten by anglers.

    Infestation is somewhat greater for fish caught in shallow water where snails and fish eating birds are most prevalent. Fish caught from deep water typically exhibit less infestation. Like many biological phenomenon, prevalence of the grub may be greater in some years and less in others for a variety of reasons including an abundance of intermediate host mollusks and birds.

    Black spots

    Black spot disease is commonly observed in rock bass and other sunfish, bass, pike, perch, minnows, and other fish species. It can be identified by the presence of small black spots, usually about the size of a pin head, in the skin, the fins, the musculature, and the mouth of the fish. The black spots are caused by pigment that the fish deposits around the larval stage of a parasitic digenetic trematode, usually a Neascus spp.

    The lifecycle of the "black spot" parasite is complex. The adult parasite is found in a fish eating bird, the kingfisher. The larval parasite is transferred from the infected fish to the bird during the feeding process. In the kingfisher, the larval stage develops into an adult parasite. The adult parasite in the intestine of the bird produces eggs that are eventually deposited in the water. There the eggs mature, hatch, and develop into the miracidium stage of the parasite. The miracidium infects a snail. In the snail, the miracidium develops into the cercaria life stage. The cercaria leaves the snail and actively penetrates a host fish. In the fish, the parasite becomes encysted. In about 22 days, black spots form around the cyst. This entire lifecycle takes at least 112 days to complete.

    In general, the presence of the "black spot" parasite does not affect the growth or the longevity of the infected fish; however massive infections in young fish may cause fish mortality. The parasite is incapable of infecting humans and, as is the case with all fish parasites, it is destroyed by thorough cooking. When fish are heavily infected, some anglers prefer to remove the skin to improve the appearance of the cooked fish.

    For further information please reference:

    Parasites of North American Freshwater Fishes
    by G. L. Hoffman (This book may be available from your local University Library)
    Click here for a University of Michigan web page on flat worms.
    Numerous state Fisheries' agencies and other web sites describe parasites --- try typing "Neascus" or "Clinostomum" in search engines to learn more.

    Like many biological phenomenon, prevalence of worms and parasites may be greater in some years and during some seasons for a variety of reasons, including an abundance of intermediate host mollusks and birds. Bluegills are a colonial spawner and congregations in early summer provide opportunity for infested fish to be in close proximity to one another.