RSL Parasite questions!

Discussion in 'Fly Fishing Entomology' started by Jay Burman, Sep 14, 2010.

  1. Jay Burman

    Jay Burman Experienced Ne'r do well and Layabout.

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    :confused:I fish RSL today and landed a meager 5 Trout in the 12" to 14" range, which was actually an improvement over my previous outing 2 weeks ago.
    On 3 of the 5 fish there appeared some type of parasite infestation evidenced by numerous lesions on each fish. It appears that some sort of worm-like, burrowing parasite is preying on the trout in RSL. The lesions on the fishes skins are about the size of pencil erasers and yellow in color.
    The parasites themselves appear to be whitish in color and worm-like in appearance but are really too small to discern.
    Does anyone know what these are and what the extent of their harm may be? I have fished lakes all over the state and have never encountered anything like this anywhere else. I am surprised to find any sort of infestation in RSL considering how clean, clear and cold the water is. I appreciate any light you can you can shed on this topic. Thanks.
     
  2. Taxon

    Taxon Moderator Staff Member

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    Jay-

    If they look like this, they are (the Crustacean) Copopoda:

    [​IMG]

    If you search the archives of this site on Rattlesnake Lake Copepods, you'll find a similar infestation was reported on Rattlesnake Lake in late August of 2004. They were probably brought to the lake by the hatchery, where they thrive in the crowded hatchery environment. However, I don't believe it's a serious problem; just ignore them, and once the water gets cold, they'll probably just die off.
     
  3. Jay Burman

    Jay Burman Experienced Ne'r do well and Layabout.

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    That's a pretty good answer. That's probably what they look like. They were so small I couldn't make out the detail, but the did look like that.
    Thanks for the update!
     
  4. Jay Burman

    Jay Burman Experienced Ne'r do well and Layabout.

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    I was wondering if the feeding goes both ways. While the Copepods feed on the trout, are the trout also feeding on the Copepods? That might explain what the trout in RSL are eating to sustain themselves.
     
  5. Be Jofus G

    Be Jofus G Banned or Parked

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    Fingerlings might be eating them. There is a lot of food in RSL. Drop a chunk of dead fish in there tied to a string for an hour. :) You'll switch to big brown wooley buggers after that.

    Catch ny cutts out of there this year?
     
  6. Taxon

    Taxon Moderator Staff Member

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    Perhaps. According to the Science page of the Washington State Hi-Lakers website, "Trout with red or pink flesh have most likely been eating copepods or shrimp." However, I doubt copepods are the major food component for trout at Rattlesnake Lake.
     
  7. Jay Burman

    Jay Burman Experienced Ne'r do well and Layabout.

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    No Cutts. Only rainbows. I'm starting to tire of RSL. Maybe some down will renew my enthusiasm.
    On another note, I thought I should mention that my beloved truck suffered some body damage while parked at RSL. I had "Rock Star" parking right next to the boat launch. After about 4 hours of fishing last Tuesday I returned to my truck to find several high impact dent/ scratches to the passenger side front fender apparently from rocks or other solid debris that was inadvertantly lauched by the park landscaper's industrial size lawn mower. The repair estimate is $850.00 and I have to part with my truck for 3 days. Did I mention that I'm broke? I'm not sure what the point of this minor rant is other than to remind everyone to be on the lookout for large riding lawnmowers driven by wild eyed landscapers.
     
  8. dragonfly

    dragonfly New Member

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    be patient Jay RSL will be good fishing this comming month of October!!
     

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