In last nights Facebook broadcast, Bob mentioned medicating fish food to treat Saprolegnia. What type of medicine should be used and is it something I should be able to purchase from my local purina/feed store?
That's the proactive measure, and I don't recall the med but once they get it to a point is visible it's very hard to control. Reactive measures are always hit and miss but in this case individual fish going through salt dips is the only thing you can do if it's that bad. But.. every time you touch a fish with net, hand, etc, you are exposing the fish to Sapro, or a place for it to grow.
Thanks for the response. These fish have been fed MVP 2 times a day for the past 2 years. Around 25% of my larger bluegill that I see feeding have it on their lips. I've seen one that his lips were so swollen he had a hard time getting a pellet into his mouth. It was a case just like this that was discussed last night that Bob mentioned medicating the feed. I just assumed it would help them recover.
I thought I'd post an update... This past Thursday(full moon) I went for a paddle around the pond. I found more bluegill beds than ever, but didn't see any fish on the beds. Instead, what I found was dead bluegill around the pond. I've picked up 27 in differing states from still slightly swimming near the surface to half decayed since then. 22 of the fish have been been 1/2lb and up. The other 5 were 3-4 inches. I captured one that was still swimming a few minutes ago and am attempting to attach pics. I also have bass spawning in the pond and they appear normal.
You've got a parasite but I can't say what it is.. Probably need to get some input from others but do you notice anything funky with the gills? Sometimes the problem erupts internally and we see the effects externally when generally it's too late to fix.
Thanks for the quick response. I just got back from the pond with more information. I'm up to 46 dead bluegill and 1 dead crappie. Long story short, I only have/had a few male crappie in the pond. To this point, I have not found any dead bass, shell cracker, or grass carp. I'm attaching some more pics. Notice that the latest dying fish doesn't have the fungus on his lips.
One additional item to note, but I don't know that it's relevant. In January of this year, I had 20 tons of lime put into the pond. The pond is 2.2 surface acres.
Fin rot can be similar to this and it may be what you have. It's very contagious. It could also be a form of Columnaris..it "can" have the external symptoms similar to saprolegnia but can also affect the head. As with most diseases, water quality can start an issue with stress making it worse. I'd say put a message in to Bob L and see what he thinks. TJ, essup, jpsdad, ewest, Bill cody, Dave?????
Snipe, I really appreciate your quick responses. I'm struggling with what I can and should do. At this point, I'm stopping feeding and removing dead fish from the pond. What else can I do? Have the water tested, send off a dead fish for an autopsy, ???
It has been exciting raising 1lb plus bluegill, but scooping them out and throwing them into the woods is pretty disheartening.
Ray, Got your email this morning, responding here so all can see. Looks to me like your fish have a bacterial infection, likely due to stress from water quality degrading. One of the problems with pushing the envelope to raise fish is managing water quality. Your fish don't have Saprolegnia, but they do have bruises and inflamed areas associated with a bacterial infection. If your fish are eating, I'd medicate their feed. Buy 4 oz of any antibiotic over the counter at your local feed dealer or coop. Mix it with a small bottle of Karo syrup and mix thoroughly with a bag of fish food. I've used a wheelbarrow or a big tub to mix it. Once thoroughly mixed, add it to your feeder. After a couple of weeks your remaining fish will begin healing. That will help solve the symptoms. The true "problem" is water quality. Are you aerating? Do you have a well to dilute your pond's water? Focus on the water and this problem will likely go away.
Teach a man to grow fish... He can teach to catch fish...
Bob turned me onto this and I've had to treat caged BG bacterial infections twice both with success following this method. I also have diluted antibiotic with water and hydrated feed so it sinks and is more readily eaten than floating. Both methods worked well - just be sure to use the correct amount of moisture/ab solution for the number of pellets being hydrated and wear latex gloves when handling antibiotics.
Many men go fishing all of their lives without knowing that it is not fish they are after. ~ Henry David Thoreau
Hello Bob, Thanks so much for the reply. I purchased a 100mL(3.38 oz) bottle of Duramycin 72-200 Antibiotic. It contains 200mg/mL of oxytetracycline. It is recommended for cattle and swine. I mixed half the bottle with half a bottle of Karo syrup and 25lbs of food and added it to the empty feeder and began feeding last night. I feed about 10lbs of feed a week and will mix and feed the second half when the first runs out.
I am not aerating and do not have a well to dilute. I didn't think I was pushing the envelope with 10lbs of feed per week on a 2 acre pond, but I've definitely done something to cause my first fish kill. Like I mentioned earlier, the only change in the past few years is the addition of lime this past winter. Aeration just isn't in the cards at this point.
Does it make sense to send off a water sample for analysis?
Thanks again for taking time to respond to my post.
Just a quick update. The number of dead bluegill I'm removing from the pond each day is decreasing. I'm up to 79 total. Close to half of the ones that are feeding have some visible signs of infection. Hopefully, I've turned the corner and am heading in the right direction.
Another update for my records if nothing else... on 5/19, I found the first dead shell cracker. as of 5/21, I've picked out 95 bluegill and 14 shell cracker not to mention the ones the heron and osprey are getting.
I have a call in to my local extension agency to see if they have any recommendations or can help me get my water tested.