Monday, December 22, 2008

Sea Lice

Other then four wheeling to work a couple of times, all I have been doing is tying flies, kicking back with the family, shoveling snow and freezing my ass off over the last week. This has given me a lot of time to think about many random things. One of them was sea lice.

As fishermen, we love sea lice. Sea lice on some chrome fish indicate one thing; the fish is fresher then an eighteen year old freshman on her first day of college. Fresh chrome fish full of piss and vinegar are what we dream about everyday. But shoveling snow and thinking about it for longer then the normal person should, I could not help to think about how messed up that really is. How would you like it if you had a tick sucking your life line from you everyday? But that is not even the bad part. The bad part is they are attached right next to your junk. Now how would you like a tick sucking you dry next to your nutz and give you a possibly lethal STD?

Sea Lice or Lepeophtheirus salmonis are a marine parasite that consumes blood, mucous and skin. They carry disease and can kill juvenile and adult salmonids. The biggest problem in today’s world is that sea lice are found in large quantities in fish farms and because of strays from net pens in both the Atlantic and Pacific Ocean, populations of these lice can spread and infect in large proportions the native fish migrating through those areas. They can live up to 200 days in salt water and up to 21 days in freshwater. The lack of salinity in freshwater are what causes them to fall off when our salmonids swim back to their native streams.

So the next time you catch a dime bright fish, I want you to think about those little parasites sucking your fish dry. Your fish is not as fresh as you think it should be............

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