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Panfish parasites? Which ones to avoid?

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Panfish parasites? Which ones to avoid?
Greetings everyone!
I came here looking for advice on panfish. I've been Trout fishing my whole life and I'm looking to get into keeping and eating other fish when I catch them. I know panfish can be pretty tasty, but it seems like every one I catch is riddled with parasites. What gives?

I caught four little Pumpkinseed today, and decided to keep all of them, intending to fry them up for dinner. After scaling, I cut the heads off and every one of them had a curled up, red-colored, wriggling worm inside of them. I caught a larger Pumpkinseed a few weeks ago at a different location, which had what appeared to be the same type of parasite inside of it. What is this? Is the fish still OK to eat if they have this parasite in them?

After having cleaned hundreds of Brook Trout in my life and not having seen parasites, I'm a little put off by finding worms inside of all (all 5... yeah I'm a newb here) the panfish I've ever gutted. I'm what you might call a grown-ass-man, and not many things give me the willies anymore - but parasites definitely still do. The meat on these fish still looked OK, and I think the worms probably fell out of the digestive tract when I was gutting them - but since I'd rather err on the side of caution, I threw all the fish into the compost after seeing the worms.

I've never eaten panfish, but I've heard they're great eating and I would really like to start making these fish a part of my diet. During gutting I was surprised by how little guts Pumpkinseed have in them - these fish seem like they're all meat and no guts compared to Trout. They all seem to be infected with worms though, so that's a little off-putting to me. What gives? I've heard that Perch are best caught in the spring and winter due to prevalence of parasites in the summer - does the same rule apply to Pumpkinseed/Bluegill/Crappie and other Cichlids? The first Pumpkinseed I kept & gutted was in late July, and the other four were just today - August 4th.

Advice, please. I hate killing fish when I can't eat them, and I'd like to start eating some of the panfish that I always seem to catch.
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Re: [KtownFireDog] Panfish parasites? Which ones to avoid? In reply to
Welcome to the site Firedog, I see on your profile you are from the Northeast, well I am from SW Washington State and I have never seen any parasites in the fish here. I have heard of them in trout, but not encountered them myself.

The report I found
https://www.seafoodhealthfacts.org/...ety-topics/parasites
sounds like it comes from a bunch of guys with big brains and they say freezing or thorough cooking will render the fish safe to eat.

It would still give me the willies, but I eat fig newtons and they are allowed the greatest percentage of bug bodies and larva of any food – I just tell myself that the crunchy parts are fig seeds, ha ha.

One fish at a time...
Lewis
(This post was edited by lskiles on Aug 6, 2018, 7:53 AM)
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Re: [KtownFireDog] Panfish parasites? Which ones to avoid? In reply to
Welcome to the site, I agree with lskiles, if you freeze them or cook them you should be fine, just don't eat them raw like suski. We actually do have those parasite in some of our bluegill here in our state and they tell us they are ok to eat if you cook them well, just more proteinWink.


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Re: [wiperhunter2] Panfish parasites? Which ones to avoid? In reply to
Thanks for the replies guys. I think I'm going to go ahead and make dinner out of the next few pumpkinseeds I catch. I never eat freshwater fish raw, but maybe I'll go ahead and freeze them before cooking just to make doubly sure everything is dead.

Every time I've seen one of the worms I'm referring to, it's fallen out of the gut cavity in the fish. I still haven't found any pictures online that match, so maybe it's such a normal occurrence up here that nobody bats an eyelash at them.
I do still want to know what these little worm buggers are; so I think I'll take a pic and send it to Fish & Game next time I see one. I'll post it on here too if I remember.
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Re: [KtownFireDog] Panfish parasites? Which ones to avoid? In reply to
I agree, contacting your local Fish & Game is always a good idea, when dealing with stuff like this. You should be able to call them up and either talk to one of them that is in charge of the area you are fish or the fish you are catching and they will give you their Email info, so you can send them the pics you took.


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