Herman Y, Recreational Angler
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Posted on August 12, 2014 | Permalink
Is it Safe to Eat?
Region: Mid Bay
I fished out of Deale on August 2 for White Perch. We worked the western shore of the Bay from Deale to Chesapeake Beach and caught about 50 White Perch on small spinnerbaits, mostly around breakwaters. We kept 15 fish, biggest three at 11 inches. While cleaning the fish, I noticed one had a sea louse looking parasite in the gills. Is this fish safe to eat?
DNR Response: That is a common fish gill isopod Lironeca ovalis that are often called "bugs" by fishermen. They live on debris-covered bottoms and often manage to cling to a fishes gills were it does not directly feed on the fish but hangs on for a ride. In the process of clinging to the fishes gills they can cause some damage to the gill filaments. Fish such a small Bluefish, White Perch and Striped Bass can have these parasites and the fish are definitely safe to eat.