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Worms In Trout

Discussion in 'Fishing Chatter = anything to do with fishing' started by Michael Dombek, Mar 5, 2019.

  1. Michael Dombek

    Michael Dombek Pirate
    Fishing Chatter

    I stopped keeping trout years ago when my Dad showed me worms in the fillets. It was a shame cause I loved eating them. Every now and then I take one home if hooked deep and it's gonna die anyway just to see if they still have them. I have only cleaned a few in the last several years that did not have any. I know they won't hurt you, just can't stomach the thought of eating them or even picking them out while cleaning. I was wondering if this problem is state wide or just where I live around Melbourne and Sebastian? Anybody know anything about these I would like to know more.
  2. mak

    mak Rigger

    Karl B likes this.
  3. Karl B

    Karl B Rigger

    I catch most of my trout in the Banana River, Cape Canaveral and have never seen any worms in them. I hope that don't happen here. I would just pick them out if it does, I love fish taco's.
  4. mkyota1

    mkyota1 Swashbuckler

    I have seen them in some here in the port orange area. Only in the big ones. 20"+
  5. Bossman

    Bossman Moderator on Deck Staff Member

    I know that I've seen a lot of trout that have had worms in them and I'm not sure if it is the warmer water or just what.
  6. Nautical Gator

    Nautical Gator Forum Captain, Moderator, Peacekeeper Staff Member

    I have not found any worms in any yet?
  7. Michael Dombek

    Michael Dombek Pirate
    Fishing Chatter

    At least that is a little encouraging that they are not everywhere, seems down here it is norm. Upside is I won't kill em so they all get released to make more.
  8. Hal

    Hal Pirate

    I stopped trout fishing years ago because of the worms maybe i will check check it out again.
  9. GaryD

    GaryD Junior Member

    I have not seen any yet.
  10. Rich M

    Rich M Rigger

    This is from a quick search...


    Spaghetti worms are common parasites of saltwater fish in the drum family, which include speckled and white trout, black drum, redfish, and croakers. While they look alike to most fishermen, several different worms use these fish as hosts. Most common in sea trout is Poecilancistrium caryophyllum. Worms found in black drum are most often Pseudogrillotia pIeistacantha. For ease of discussion, we will dispose of these tongue-twisting Latin names and refer to them all as spaghetti worms.

    Fishermen frequently find these white, one to three inch long worms when filleting their catch. In trout they are usually found in the middle of the fillet in the area just below the dorsal fin. Research has shown that approximately 40% of Louisiana and Mississippi speckled trout are host to spaghetti worms, with an average of between one and two worms occurring per fish. It may appear that many more worms exist, but often one worm is cut into several pieces during filleting. Spaghetti worms in black drum are more common near the tail of the fish with a typical fish hosting 5 to 15 specimens.

    The spaghetti worms we see in these fish are really parasitic tapeworms of sharks, who are just using the trout or drum as an intermediate host. The cycle begins with eggs produced by an eight-inch long adult worm which lives in a shark's intestine. After being passed into seawater, the egg hatches into a tiny swimming larva called a coracidium. If this larva is eaten within two days by a small marine crustacean like a copepod, it develops into another stage called a procercoid.

    At this stage some uncertainty exists as to what happens. The copepod may be eaten by a trout, passing the larval worm on the trout. However, since small animals like copepods are seldom eaten by larger trout and since very few trout under ten inches long have spaghetti worms, another host is suspected. More than likely, a small bait fish like an anchovy eats the copepod and it in turn is eaten by the larger trout. In any case, once the larval worm is in the trout's digestive tract, it tunnels its way into the trout's flesh where it may live for several years. The life cycle is completed when a shark eats the trout and serves as host for the adult worm.

    The fact that a spaghetti worm may live several years (up to 6 or 7) may surprise many fishermen, since they often claim that more fish are infected in one season than another. This may possibly be due to different populations of trout with different infection rates, moving up and down in a marsh system seasonally.

    The number of trout carrying worms seems to be directly related to the characteristics and quality of the water in which the trout live. In general, the saltier the water and the less polluted it is, the higher the levels of infection are. This may be due to either one of the intermediate host's or the larval worm's needs for saline, unpolluted waters.

    Another interesting fact is that once a trout becomes host to one or several spaghetti worms, it seems to develop an immunity to further infections. If this were not the case, large, old fish would have many more worms than a 12- or 14-inch fish, but they don't.

    Finally, while the spaghetti worm may be somewhat unappealing to the eye, it certainly doesn't prevent good eating. Since, they are large enough to easily see, they are simple to remove during the filleting process. Simply grab the worm between the knife blade and thumb and gently pull it out. With a little practice, it becomes easy.

    Many people don't even bother to remove them before cooking. After cooking, they are unnoticeable and cannot be tasted. In a survey conducted at Mississippi fishing rodeos a few years ago, less than 25% of the trout fishermen avoided eating fish with worms.

    While cooking does, of course, kill the worm, even without cooking they are not a human health problem. No human infections have been recorded and researchers have been unable to infect warm-blooded animals with the parasite.
    Keith and mkyota1 like this.
  11. mak

    mak Rigger

    Great info Rich. Thanks
  12. BothShores

    BothShores Pirate in the making

    just to add the way it was explained to me is there is worms in pork (fact) they are just microscopic and we cant see them.... and we eat pork anyways. after you cook them they melt. i have noticed them more in the warmer months than in the colder months. black drum are notorious to have them near the anal fin and near the tail section. also amberjacks same locations. when they are so concentrated i generally scrap that section of the meat and on a 20 lbs fish there is plenty more meat elsewhere. but agree there is no harm to humans in eating meat thats been in contact with these.
  13. Dave rivera

    Dave rivera Powder Monkey

    Rich great info Thanks,
  14. Sweep49

    Sweep49 Pirate in the making

    So long as they are cooked, then they are just a little added protein.
    Bossman likes this.
  15. Metrolobster

    Metrolobster Pirate in the making

    I've not yet eaten a Sea Trout yet. I caught a lot of them, but the first one I took home to eat it seemed the meat was mushy. Didn't like the texture. Now I throw them back. Maybe I saved it wrong and ruined the meat.
  16. Michael Dombek

    Michael Dombek Pirate
    Fishing Chatter

    Great info, my dad always said it is just extra protein. ( he also told me that the dolphin in the river were porpoises which I came to learn years later, Not true)o_O
  17. Keith

    Keith Pirate

    I do a lot of fishing in the Titusville area around the NASA Causeway and railroad bridge I've only caught one trout this year but he was full of worms. Friends of mine have told me the last couple years it seems that the trout have all been full of worms, they just quit keeping them all together. I did try to remove the worms but it left holes all in the fillets. Looks more like Swiss cheese. That's funny my dad told me the same thing it's just extra protein.
  18. Bossman

    Bossman Moderator on Deck Staff Member

    I'm a big fish eater anyways so it doesn't matter to much to me. Although I will say that trout is not at the top of my list of fish to eat.
  19. SpecFisher16

    SpecFisher16 Treasure Hunter

    Seen them quite often but still eat fish that have them. I just make sure to cook the fish very well.

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