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Lake: Blue Mesa Reservoir

Blue Mesa gill lice

Post By: yard dogs      Posted: 3/10/2020 11:15:02 AM     Points: 637    
Curious who all has seen gill lice in their catches at Blue Mesa this year... I just read that several salmon have been full of them. We actually saw some on a rainbow this year - first time I had ever seen it.

If the Koks are over taken by the lice, what does that mean for the fishery? Do they kill the koks out to let it die?
 Reply by: SGM      Posted: Mar. 10, 1:38:22 PM     Points: 12250    
Brad, the few kokes I got thru the ice this year all had lice. One had like 4 or 5 on each side, the others one or two. All the fish look healthy and ate well. If I did not intentionally look for the lice I would not have thought anything was wrong with them.

For sure it can kill the kokes like at 11 Mile or Green Mountain. It can also kill the rainbows but they seem to be more resilient to the lice. Bad news is that once the lice get into a water system they are there forever.
 Reply by: yard dogs      Posted: Mar. 10, 3:07:30 PM     Points: 637    
That was a first for me, but the rainbow had at least 7-10 on each side
 Reply by: skiman      Posted: Mar. 10, 3:26:05 PM     Points: 2326    
I agree...once they are established, very difficult, if not impossible to eradicate. Not good to hear about the rainbows. I wonder if the browns are infected as well?
 Reply by: SGM      Posted: Mar. 10, 4:03:39 PM     Points: 12250    
I check my fish at BM since I heard about the lice. Mostly out of curiosity but have not seen lice on browns or lakers. Not saying it does not happen but think it is rare if it does happen. Even back when I fished 11 Mile regularly I never saw lice on the browns.

Brad, for sure a concern. However if you kept it no harm to people and for sure those lice are out of the system.
 Reply by: yard dogs      Posted: Mar. 10, 4:06:01 PM     Points: 637    
Same as SGM - have not seen any on browns or lakers
 Reply by: team FMFO      Posted: Mar. 10, 4:30:40 PM     Points: 3639    
Interesting post , do any of you have pics ? Curious to see what they look like.
 Reply by: SGM      Posted: Mar. 10, 6:28:00 PM     Points: 12250    
FMFO, Sorry no photos but look like small grains of rice.
 Reply by: bron      Posted: Mar. 10, 6:38:50 PM     Points: 36517    
Heres pics.
 Reply by: blackdog1      Posted: Mar. 10, 7:30:30 PM     Points: 3    
salmon guys that target them have not had much luck this winter, the few we caught were full of lice, rainbows as well. rumor has it allot of the guides in Gunnison are looking for new jobs. If the kokes crash it is a huge impact on the Gunnison economy.
 Reply by: team FMFO      Posted: Mar. 10, 8:57:12 PM     Points: 3639    
Wow, thanks for the pics and the info !!!
 Reply by: machz8      Posted: Mar. 10, 10:00:33 PM     Points: 42    
The bows, browns and lone laker I caught this past weekend had no evidence of gill lice. It was solely the Kokanee.
 Reply by: yard dogs      Posted: Mar. 11, 8:45:01 AM     Points: 637    
What causes the gill lice?
 Reply by: SGM      Posted: Mar. 11, 9:14:09 AM     Points: 12250    
They are a parasitic zooplankton. From what I have read the theory is it was brought into Colorado via hatcheries over the years. There are several articles on the internet about these nasty little critters. CPW has a fact sheet, Bernie Keefe wrote an article awhile back on them too.
 Reply by: blackdog1      Posted: Mar. 12, 11:18:54 AM     Points: 3    
I see the CPW updated the Blue Mesa page, figure 12 showed gill lice infestation levels of fish spawned at hatchery. 2019 100% of fish had lice, 37 lice per fish average. not good ..hard to blame this one on the lake trout LOL....
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 Reply by: Fishneveryweek      Posted: Mar. 12, 11:46:41 AM     Points: 33    
Yeah, so what we have is CPW working feverishly to prop up the kokanee, which, in turn, is a gill lice Typhoid Mary that will also take down the rainbows. Meanwhile, we have brown numbers, condition, and size spiraling downward as CPW works feverishly to kill all lakers. And who the heck is catching any perch lately? You can see the endpoint - the biggest dead hole reservoir in any state!
 Reply by: bernie      Posted: Mar. 12, 4:27:29 PM     Points: 473    
Here is the article wrote about this. We only have Wolford and Night Horse reservoirs as "clean" waters. I would beg everyone that cares to write these guys a letter.

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 Reply by: SirGreg88      Posted: Mar. 12, 9:25:57 PM     Points: 56    
Social engineering gone biological.

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