Little black spots in bluegill fillets

Discussion in 'Southeast Ohio Fishing Reports' started by Header, May 22, 2007.

  1. Was down catching bluegills at AEP over the weekend and brought back 15 or so for dinner. When I was filleting I noticed little black dots through out the meat. Any idea what these may be and maybe harmful to eat? After they soaked over night most seem to be gone.
  2. krustydawg

    krustydawg KrustyDawg

    This is a quote from Fred Snyder - Lake Erie Ohio Seagrant.

    "There's not much better eating than bluegill fillets, but those black spots are certainly a turn-off.

    Yes, you're seeing the larval stage of a parasitic worm called a trematode. The adults live in the mouths of kingfishers. Their eggs pass through the birds' digestive tracts into the water, hatch, and then become free-swimming larvae which burrow into snails. After a few weeks the transformed larvae leave the snails and swim to a fish, burrowing into the skin or flesh.

    The actual black spot you see is not the worm -- the fish form a layer of black pigment called melanin around the larvae. When a kingfisher eats the infected fish the cycle is complete.

    These worms cannot infect humans - they're harmless. At pond management clinics I tell people that they have three levels of protection here. First, you'll probably cut the black spots out of the fillet. Second, any that you miss will be killed during cooking. Third, even if you swallow living black spot worms, they would pass through you without infecting you. Sorry, but you're just not the food they like. It's almost insulting.

    Fred Snyder, Ohio Sea Grant Extension
    Extension Agent
    Hero Member

  3. RiverWader

    RiverWader Cottontail Mafia

    On a related note , I caught a few bass the other night out of a pond and they had white spots in th filllet that look like worms , Anyone know what this is??
  4. Riverwader, sounds like yellow grub. Can't hurt humans.
  5. BrianSipe17

    BrianSipe17 Brilliant!

    It's actually just pepper. The gills come pre-seasoned there. That's just one more reason AEP is so great!
  6. liquidsoap

    liquidsoap Pay-it-foward fisherman

  7. HockingEscape

    HockingEscape AKA RXDAWG44

    Feed the Tunafish mayonaise!
  8. Thanks Kusty, I knew someone here would be informative.