: "worms" in perch

01-17-2002, 08:56 PM
why do perch up north tend to have "worms" or "grubs" but we here in Iowa never seem to see any?

01-17-2002, 09:10 PM
we used to see them here in erie when they were caught when the water was real warm.i guess in warm water they have a tendency to get them. good luck and good fishin.

Dave S
01-17-2002, 10:01 PM
It is my understanding that the worms are spread by droppings from ducks in visiting with a local fish biologist. Smaller ponds and lakes with minimal water flow and high concentrations of ducks would be more prone to have wormy fish.

Supposedly cooking the fish fillets renders the worms edible.

Bob G2
01-17-2002, 10:12 PM
MmmmmmmmMMMMMmmmmm! My mouth is watering!

Prime Time
01-18-2002, 08:09 AM
The life-cycle includes birds, fish and snails. The fish eat the snails, the birds eat the fish and the snails eat the bird droppings and the fish eat the snails, etc., etc......Where snails aren't a major part of the fish's diet, there are less grubs in the fish. The one I believe you are referring to is the yellow grub, common in Upper Mid-west.They ensist in the fillets and are seen after the fish are filleted. I skin them and "candle them" which is to hold the fillet up to a strong lightbulb and look for the shadows of the grub inside the fillet. I'm pretty confident that I get 99% of them this way. I see heavy infestations in the perch from Lake Simcoe. The worms the Den is referring to are the red roundworm in Lake Erie which live only in the body cavity, but burrow out when the fish dies and gets warmer. You can avoid seeing these in the fillets by always icing the fish to keep the worms inactive.

01-18-2002, 12:25 PM
Yuck. I see little black spots on the sunnys later in the summer too. I don't know if these are the worms you are refering to, but hey- adding a little spice to the recipe makes for a little more interesting flavor. J/K. Personally, I just don't keep anything that looks too wormy. I would suppose that frying the filets takes care of the worms as well. I would advise against trying the sushi recipe.


01-18-2002, 01:38 PM
I have seen the "black dots" under the skin in perch here in IA. Prime Time described it best as yellow grubs :9 as what I am refering to in perch. Still curious as to why we have never seen them in any perch we have caught in IA. Just wondering, did anyone notice an increased fish bite Wednesday January 17 afternoon and evening? It was the only day the perch really wanted to bite this ice season.

Thanks for your help,
perchy :D

01-18-2002, 05:43 PM
Prime Time Mindy???
Ice will keep the red roundworm at bay. Keep em cold!

Old fishcleaner
01-18-2002, 06:13 PM
Heheh, we used to clean a zillion perch for a dime a fish . In July , most had worms. We said nothing. Customers fried them, ate them, loved them, and caught more for us to clean. The little tiny white-ish spots just contributed more protein!
You would not want to know what is in all you eat.

01-18-2002, 11:53 PM
Makes me wonder why someone would knowingly want to eat those fish. Does is matter in the holistic medicine approach? Maybe we have found a "cure" for the proverbial cabin fever... Maybe those of us who eat the little critters end up living a more happy life because we dare to be a little different, or take a chance. They seem to go well with bud light anyways... Also- do the worms EVER leave? I catch perch in the winter and they still have the little white spots. Eggs of the worms?? Parasites? Any biologists out there want to help with this one??


Old Fishcleaner
01-19-2002, 10:56 AM
All I know is the all lived on, happily. I ate them, even knowing about the little white spots. Of course, I been known to stick a leech in my mouth to get it warmer and more active in cold weahter, before putting it on the hook, too!
Now ..those red worms that wiggle...like I see in trout..that's a different story. No way would I keep one of those fillets for eating.
I like deer liver, but I don't like liver flukes, and that is what the red worms reminded me of!!! LOL

01-19-2002, 08:12 PM
Old Fish cleaner...

You sound as though you really have some stories to tell... You must have had a couple cocktails in order to put a leech in your mouth to warm it up. What were you thinking? Gross. I have done some weird things in my day, but wow!! Better to have the fish with the parasites than putting one in your mouth!


Fishin Machine
01-20-2002, 10:41 AM
Lesions, sores, hemorrhages, fish
pop-eyed, blood under scales, or loss of
Various species of bacteria can infect fish. Symptoms vary depending on
bacteria and fish species. Bacterial infections are usually the result of a
stress on the fish or infection of a wound. An infected fish is edible. Trim
away infected flesh.

Cottonlike, white-tan-gray fuzzy growth on
body or fins.
Fungus may infect a wound or lesion. An infected fish is edible. Trim away
infected flesh.

Small, pinhead-size white spots on the skin
of catfish and sometimes excessive mucus
(slime) production.
Ich (Ichthyophthirius) is a common protozoan parasite of catfish. It occurs
on the skin and gills of catfish and some other fish species. An infected fish is
edible. Clean and prepare as usual.

Small, black-to-purple spots under the skin
or in the flesh of scale fish.
Black Spot is one of the more frequent parasites observed by fishermen. It
is caused by larval flukes encysting under the skin or in the flesh. An infected
fish is edible. Clean and prepare as usual.

Eye opaque or deformed.
Eye flukes live in the fluid of the eye. Although they cannot be seen by the
fishermen, they eventually cause blindness in the fish. An infected fish is
edible. Clean and prepare as usual.

Gills swollen and pink.
There are a number of gill parasites infecting fish. They are microscopic
and only the damage they cause is observed by the fisherman. Some of these
parasites are gill flukes and a number of protozoan species. Chemicals in the
water can also irritate the gills and present the same symptoms. Unless
chemicals are suspected, the fish is edible. Clean and prepare as usual.

Threadlike red worm extending from the
Roundworms can be found throughout the intestines. They sometimes can
be seen extending from the anus. An infected fish is edible. Clean and
prepare as usual.

Worm-like animal attached to the body,
head, fins or gills.
Leeches are blood-sucking animals that leave a circular wound after they
have dropped off the fish. An infected fish is edible. Clean and prepare as

Small, red pustule with red threadlike body
protruding from wound at the base of
scale or on or near the base of fins.
Anchor worm is an appropriate name for this parasitic copepod. It buries its
anchor-shaped head into the flesh and allows its body to hang free of the
wound. An infected fish is edible. Clean and prepare as usual.

Small, bloody areas at the base or under
the scales of a fish.
Fish lice are microscopic copepods rarely seen by fishermen. They feed on
the blood by piercing the skin. The bites can become infected. An infected
fish is edible. Clean and prepare as usual.

Observed Internally

01-20-2002, 12:05 PM
Putting a leech in your mouth isn't "gross". Gross is when you go to kiss your Grandmother and she sticks her tongue down your throat ! Now that's gross. Gonna' be a long winter for sure.

01-20-2002, 06:44 PM
Wow. Good and thorough information.... Must be pretty hungry fisherman to trim away gray-to-whitish moldy looking fuzz from a fish. I'll pass and maybe toss this one back.


01-21-2002, 06:17 PM

I have been told by the DNR in WI & MN that they are a resualt of the heron's droppings in the water. They are ok if the fish are fried past 175 degrees.

I look under the gills and if I see them ( Worms ) I return the fish to the water. All I would have to do is have the wife see a worm in her perch dinner and that would be the end of the fish fry.

Good luck