All fish were caught in the Choptank River in a 36 day period, from the time the survey started on 8/18/97. A total of 190 Striped Bass were caught in 16 trips.
Out of 190 fish:
- 111 ranged in size from 18″ – 30″
- 12 had red, open, round sores on the body.
- One 18″ fish was covered with a white fungal infection on it’s entire body.
- Many of the remaining fish had small sores on their fins but were not counted as diseased.
12% of the fish collected had internal lesions and were possibly diseased. With the exception of two fish measuring 14¾” and 17½”, all the lesioned fish were above 18″ in length.
Most had small round or irregular sores up to approximately ½” in diameter on various parts of the body with the worst fish having it’s entire body covered with red sores.
Generally, the condition of the fish 18″ and over was poor. Also, it should be noted that all fish examined had little or no body fat and all were males, even the largest fish, measuring 30″.
Fish with reported sores were in such condition that they would not be desirable for human consumption due to appearance, however, there were many more fish with small red sores located in the fins, particularly in the tail and anal fins, that weren’t counted in my totals.
Parasites appear to be causing minor damage to the fish because of the Striper’s weakened condition.
Parasites (small white isopods) have been observed on some of the red sores on the body, anal fin and on the tail.
Samples of the isopods have been collected, along with six live Striped Bass and three dead Striped Bass, and taken to the Oxford Laboratory in accordance with the agreement and collection procedure agreed upon with Dr. Eric May.