A large, nasty-looking lesion found on the flank of a white bass caught recently in Devils Lake probably isn’t cause for concern, a Game and Fish Department fisheries biologist says.
The angler who caught the white bass brought the fish to the Game and Fish office in Devils Lake, where district fisheries biologist Todd Caspers examined it. The lesion likely resulted from an injury to the fish that later developed into a bacterial or fungal infection, Caspers said in an email, adding he’s not a fish disease expert.
“There are several types of infectious agents that occur in most any waterbody that can cause infections when a fish has been injured or is stressed for other reasons” such as spawning stress, he said.
Photos of the white bass have been making the rounds on social media, along with reports that Devils Lake anglers have landed a few walleyes and northern pike with similar, but less severe lesions.
“With this being the spawning season, it would not be unusual for some of the fish to be stressed by spawning activity and then develop an infection,” Caspers said. “Overall, I would not be too concerned at this point about a few fish showing up with infections, since (spawning season) is a stressful time of year for them.”
Game and Fish will be on the lookout for further reports of fish with similar sores, but for the time being, “it’s probably not anything to get too worried about,” Caspers said.