Mycobacteriosis prevalence this season - Fly Fishing Forum
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Old 08-31-2006, 01:14 PM
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Mycobacteriosis prevalence this season

So far this season I have fished and caught stripers from CT (many), RI (many), MA (many), and ME (a handful). From all of the fish that I have caught, I have not seen any that exhibit the open sores associated with mycobacteriosis. Knowing that fish can be carriers of this condition without showing the open sores, I would still have figured to at least see a few.

Scientists approximate that 70% of the stipers from the Chesapeake region have the disease, so it stands to reason that I should have seen at least a few. I'm certain that I must have caught some that were carriers. Or maybe the fish that I've been catching are mainly Hudson bass.

Any other observations from those who have caught a good number of stripers this season? Don't get me wrong, I'm not disappointed with not seeing the sores. But being a scientist and all, I'm a bit surprised given the statistics.
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Old 08-31-2006, 01:52 PM
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I have not seen it but the vast majority of my fish are RI bass and it seems most everyone agrees that most of our fish are hudson bass. Seems plausible to me and maybe why I have not seen it.

Have caught a decent amount of MA bass though and still have not run across it. I also seem to remember seeing that 70% of the bass may harbor the bacteria but a small percentage actually show outward signs that an angler would notice.

Another issue as well is it seems bass only really start to get adversely affected when they are stressed which in the majority of the cases is malnutrition. A non-stressed bass can harbor the bacteria and show no ill effects. I have heard rumblings that the dwindling bait fish supply in the chesapeake region (mainly the decimation of bunker) is a main source of stress and malnourishment that is casuing the bactieria to really start affecting the bass population.

Also the reports I saw coming in of these bass were all in the spring. Maybe once they get on the feed bag up here they recover somewhat as scientist still are not sure how fatal these disease is.

-sean
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Old 08-31-2006, 02:02 PM
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Hello Mark:

I haven't caught as many fish like some of you all but I did catch one striper about 14" in Pleasant Bay that had the disease. It was awful looking...sores covered its entire body and also had this sickly whitish color, kind of a fungus. Hopefully I got the hook off its lip without touching it. This was back in June.

On another topic I paddled over to Chatham Inlet / tip of Nauset last weekend and could not believe the number of seals that were around. They have stationed themselves on a new outer bar/island that has formed. There must have been close to 500 or six hundred seals... maybe more. A Chatham police officer was patroling the beach in his vehicle so I stopped to talk with him since the fishing wasn't very good. He said that the seals have come up from the tip of South Beach because the Southway is filling in and the seals can't get inside very easy down there. He said the seals are eating everything and the Campers on Nauset nearby are not doing as well as they normally do. He said that these fishermen have started to catch a lot more stripers with worms in them ( of the ones they have caught.) They think it is from the stripers eating the seal droppings. The policman and the fishermen have signed a petition that has gone to the Chaham aldermen requesting that a study be done. (It seems that it may be smarter to go fish on the inside of South Beach and Monomoy.) I said to the officer that pretty soon, if not already, we will begin to have Great White Sharks cruising the area. He said that he has observed shark activity going after the seals but was not sure if it was a great white. I added that it can't be far off. Whenever there is an excess food source Mother Nature finds a way of balancing things out. After speaking with the officer the tide started moving in and small herds of seals started cruising along the tip of the inlet into Pleasant Bay. It was an unending stream. I got on my kayak and had to paddle right thru them as they moved along the shore. They all scattered deep but there sure is alot of them. I'll try to find another place to fish. It is still a pretty palce though.

Frank
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Old 08-31-2006, 02:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sean
Another issue as well is it seems bass only really start to get adversely affected when they are stressed which in the majority of the cases is malnutrition. A non-stressed bass can harbor the bacteria and show no ill effects. I have heard rumblings that the dwindling bait fish supply in the chesapeake region (mainly the decimation of bunker) is a main source of stress and malnourishment that is casuing the bactieria to really start affecting the bass population.
Good point. That, along with the fish in the regions that we have both fished probably being Hudson bass, could very well explain it.
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Old 08-31-2006, 02:43 PM
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Most of the tagged stripers I catch in Chatham are the yellow Hudson River belly tags (and mostly nice fish too).

Is there any scientific reasoning on this Rhody preference thing or is this anecdotal belief? Don't get me wrong I am a big believer in anecdotals.

Just curious and I don't think there was anything concrete the last time we discussed either. If anything's popped up I would be interested e.g. migratory trends.

If the vast majority are Chesapeake Bay fish then I would be curious why some would stop shorter as others push on to Maine etc.

Interesting little striped buggers.
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Old 08-31-2006, 03:32 PM
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I have not seen a single fish with the disease - so there's two healthy fish.

I can also name about a dozen places where I know that stripers are holding over, some are very far inland where the water is far more fresh than brackish. Can stripers live in fresh water for extended periods - I've heard about landlocked stripers are they genetically the same fish?

It stands to reason that if fish hold over in many areas some of these would be conductive to spawning. I've suspected this for a while given the number of very small stripers I've seen the last few years.

Also is there any other disease that could be mistaken for this? I know hatchery trout get a sort of fin rot or something.
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Old 08-31-2006, 03:34 PM
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I had one schoolie in may or june, caught way up in the Bass River, that had lesions all over. Can't say I've noticed any others. I did have one pudge nose that was kinda cute.

The 70% figure for Chesapeake stripers is a bit scary. Seems that number has been thrown around for a couple of years. You have to wonder how long the chesapeake will be a viable nursery given the forage and pollution issues.
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Old 08-31-2006, 09:40 PM
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All but one of the fish I've caught this summer (outer cape and monomoy flats) were without sores. I did catch one at Monomoy that had numerous sores. It was about a 26" fish. It was the only one this year.
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