Sea Lice

Discussion in 'Saltwater' started by Ybsong, Nov 6, 2012.

  1. Ybsong

    Ybsong Member

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    I've always assumed that sea lice on SRCs (like on this 16"er I caught yesterday) are pretty harmless given the prevalence as the year progresses. So I was surprised when my Google searches on the subject seemed to say otherwise. I've noticed the trout tend to shed the lice over late winter and then they start popping back up in the Summer, then are covered by them by Fall. Do any of you have knowledge of these little parasites?

    ybs
     

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  2. stilly stalker

    stilly stalker Tuna sniffer

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    yes, in a natural environment away from sea rearing pens sea lice populations fluctuate dramatically over the year.
    Pens allow for non natural population growth and can decimate fish as they swim by the pens.
     
  3. mtskibum16

    mtskibum16 Active Member

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    So what are the negative effects they have on the fish?
     
  4. stilly stalker

    stilly stalker Tuna sniffer

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    Excess #s on fish can basically suck smolts dry and kill them. To state it simply. Sea pens create abnormally high populations without a seasonal fluctuation, and as young fish swim out past the pens the lice descend on them in droves, causing serious problems
     
  5. SaltyCutt

    SaltyCutt Beach Bum

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    Good topic, often wondered but never researched.

    Awesome fish as well!
     
  6. Preston

    Preston Active Member

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    Keep in mind that the problems with sea lice in the net pen areas pose a hazard primarily to outmigrating pink smolts. Pinks (and chum) smolt immediately upon emerging from the gravel and enter salt water at a length of only around one inch; at this size it only takes two or three sea lice attaching themselves to such a small fish to quickly kill it. Sea lice pose no such problem to steelhead, cutthroat and coho which smoltify at a much larger size. The problem was largely brought to notice by the collapse of pink runs in rivers adjacent to the heavily (fish) farmed area around the Broughton Archipelago near the northern end of Vancouver Island.
     
  7. stilly stalker

    stilly stalker Tuna sniffer

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    Not true, There are numerous reports showing deformed steelhead, coho, and chinook smolts covered with DOZENSof sea lice on a 6"fish causing deformation. Ill go back through my fisheries bio stuff and see if I still have the link
     
  8. Ybsong

    Ybsong Member

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    I've only been fly fishing salt for the last 5 years or so, so my experience is pretty limited. Over that time, especially in the Fall, it's been common to find a dozen+ Sea Lice on fish as small as 6 inches. They still seemed strong and healthy under the veil of those bugs, but I've always wondered. Curious if the folks who have been fishing for 20+ years have a sense for whether the prevalence of Sea Lice is greater, lesser, or the same as now. It's obviously somewhat of a natural phenomena. Just curious if there's some kind of rampant lice explosion that might begin to threaten fisheries.
     
  9. Rich Schager

    Rich Schager You should have been here yesterday...

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    i fished SRC's around Bainbridge Island in the 1950's-70's, and now live/fish close to the Squaxin Island net pens. I have not noticed any more sea lice now than 50 years ago, even being cclose to the net pens...