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Discussion Starter · #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.
 

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KrustyDawg
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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
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Just a blind man trying to catch a fish!!!!!!
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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??
 

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

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks Kusty, I knew someone here would be informative.
 
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