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Wierd fish disease? (pics)

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I was fishing this morning on my favorite stretch of my smallie stream when i landed this fish. He had these nasty sores all over him and they were actually bleeding. I've caught dozens of smallies out of this same stretch of water and havn't caught another like this. Just to be safe i killed the fish to keep this from possibly spreading and to put him out of his misery. Other than the sore he appeared healthy and fought like a tank. I was just wondering if anyone had any information on this. Thanks!

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looks like the fish was shot with a BB gun almost..........

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The fish has lymphocystis disease. Here is a big one I caught a few years back that had it. The virus can be spread to other fish when those growths burst so it's probably good to remove the fish in most cases. You can do a search on the web and get good info on it.  

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omg... that is not good... looks so bad.

i wonder if it's harmful to us if let's say we do decide to eat it for some odd reason... hehe...

anyways, gj and killing the fish. save it from other fishes getting infected as well.

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Did you think of contacting your Wildlife and Fisheries Department with the date, location and photos?

I am sure they would like to know about your catch.  :)

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One thing that it could be would be a fungal infection. Often there are tons of fungi and bacteria all over every living critter, but the fact it that the body's immune system easily fights them off. But every now and then the immune system ignores a particular bacteria and you get growths, infections and such. No idea why it happens. Odds are that you aren't likely to see it again. Hopefully.

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The fish has lymphocystis disease. Here is a big one I caught a few years back that had it. The virus can be spread to other fish when those growths burst so it's probably good to remove the fish in most cases. You can do a search on the web and get good info on it.  

Randal is probably pretty close if not right on...  Good job man!!!

....  there is a possibility it could also be a lymphosarcoma as well... basically skin cancer on fish....  It is actually pretty common here in MN  on northern pike, sometimes walleye and rarely bass...   Either way not a huge concern.  As with many parasites and typical diseases in wild fish populations it runs through in cycles...  :-[

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It's not too late to send pics and info via email to local DNR. ;) They very well may ask you to harvest the next one caught and tell you where to bring it. We did this yrs ago with winter over stripers from the Providence river. I kind of did it in reverse though. My buddy is a prof at URI and he introduced me to a marine bio prof. HE asked us to bring him one and when we did, HE called DNR. Same difference though.

Also, if it is an isolated or landlocked body of water, it may be treatable.

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That does look like Lymphocystis. They are tumors caused by a contagious virus. The virus normally attacks a fish from the outside, entering through a lesion or break in the skin. The virus infects the fish and the tumors form. Then, they burst and the virus is released into the water, to infect more fish and spread the virus.

It was a good call to remove that fish.

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That does look like Lymphocystis. They are tumors caused by a contagious virus. The virus normally attacks a fish from the outside, entering through a lesion or break in the skin. The virus infects the fish and the tumors form. Then, they burst and the virus is released into the water, to infect more fish and spread the virus.

It was a good call to remove that fish.

Is there a way for us to be sure it is Lymphocystis. If so should we dispatch all fish caught displaying these type lesions? I figure it would be a huge mistake to put one in a livewell as well. What course of action should we take Mr. Lusk?

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The only positive way to be sure is to have a fish pathologist look at the fish. The first time I saw it, there were little bumps all over 4" bluegills in a fish hatchery. They tried to sell me the fish, but there was no way. They had the fish tested, found out what it was and destroyed the entire pond's inventory.

If anyone catches a fish like that and you want to have it tested, put it on ice and make some phone calls. If there is a university with a fisheries department in your state, call them and find out where the nearest fish pathologist is. Follow their instruction.

For everyone else, if you catch a fish with "tumors" on it, remove it from the system. At the very least, you will do no harm to the fishery. At best, you keep a virus from spreading.

FYI, that virus doesn't affect humans.

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