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Help Black Spots on Bluegills?



I'm going out next week to my little "tiny Bluegill" pond this week to bring home a few small ones to "stock" my little backyard pond, AND maybe bring home a few 5-6" for the table. But the thought occurred to me:

Last year, maybe a little later in the month, I had a hankering for some fish and brought home a little mess of some decent Bluegills. I'd noticed they had small black spots on them when I caught them- no big deal. But when I started to clean them---- MAN!--- DON'T READ ANY FURTHER IF YOU HAVE A WEAK STOMACH!

When I was getting them ready for the pan, I noticed that there were soft little yellow "lumps" in the meat! So I poked at a couple, and the yellow lumps were little worms! Like... I told you not to read any further!... maggots! Sad to say- I threw them all out.

I googled for info and found out they have "black spot disease" or something like that- common in warm water fish in the summer. Harmless to the fish and harmless to humans if eaten.

Have you people ever seen those? Or are they just something here in NY? If you see them, do you eat them anyhow? I don't think I could do that, but more power to ya! Just want to know if you've seen those little black spots and little yellow worms!

Sorry if this is offensive. Best---- JoeW shrug


WOW, I have never caught any gills with these black spots your talking about.
I have caught several that had worms, but no black spots.

If I get lucky enought to catch any gills this year, Ill have to keep an eye out for this.
what is the condition of the water they are living in.?
I know when I catch gills from a pond that have lots of algea. there sometimes will be a slight green color to the meat. all I do then is soak the meat in 7 up or another lemon lime soda for 15 mins. and it takes the algea. out.

good luck with the fishing, are you going to be useing your bule gill flys??
keep us posted.


Gold Member
Every pond around here gets them eventually . They are worse it seems in ponds where cattle are allowed to wade and in general hang out . I've noticed that spring feed ponds where no cattle are have very few if any . Tend to target those ponds when it gets hot . The hotter the weather the worse they are .Pretty darn yucky If ya ask me . I hate flicking the suckers out with the point of my knife . Ain't about to eat them . If I didn't know it might not bother me . But I do know it and it's barf city for me if I slug one down.
It won't hurt you. Bass get them also. When we used to fish a lot for bass on the small lake we lived on, back when we first got married, they were common. Unlike toadfrog said, cattle had never set foot in this lake, but come hot summertime, all the fish got them to one degree or another. We just flicked them out and ate the fish.


Ah! Great link PaJNS! So it would seem that my fishies have TWO trematode infections, if i read it right? One the worm thingy and one the black spots? Dang! Fish seemed healthy enough-- were caught from warm, shallow, weedy water which I'm sure was full of snails! Harmless, especially if cooked properly? I think I'll just have to pass on that!

I thought that life cycle involving birds- snails- fish sounded familiar! When I was teaching Microbiology we did a unit on Parasitology. One disease we covered was "Chinese Liver Fluke". It has the SAME life cycle, and is also a trematode (flat worm)! Ouch! Found only in Asia, though.

While we're talking eating fish, I just want to add: Several years ago, the NYS DNR released a "recommendation" in it's fishing regs book-- that NO fish from any water in NYS should be eaten more than once a month. Furthermore, fish from some bodies of water should NEVER be eaten. And, on some waters, fishing and even swimming and boating are prohibited entirely! Scary!

Thanks all for some very good input! Best---- JoeW
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If I remember correctly, here in Missouri fish from the Missouri, Mississippi, lower Osage and maybe the lower Gasconade were not recommended to be eaten more than once a month either. That was more than a few years ago and I believe some of that has changed for the better. Now, the Lake of the Ozarks, I wouldn't eat anything coming out of that cess pool.