Ure salmon

lipslicker

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 17, 2014
Messages
4,571
Three days ago, walking Ripon waters, saw two pike in shallow spawning, but they both had bad skin damage. The male was the worst affected, with fins looking like their were rotting and patches of white skin.
Yesterday, I saw a salmon (circa 12lb) showing similar. Looked like it had a very bad case of vitiligo, like that Winnie Harlow woman, and with bad fins too.
It was at the surface, in shallow, clear water, and holding. Seemed very lethargic. I stood over it and could have touched it with a broomstick.

I took a bad photo (as no polarised lens on my phone), and sent it together with a report to the EA, as there is a sewage outlet pipe nearby. Better safe than sorry.
In fairness, they acknowledged my report immediately, and it was forwarded to at least two investigators.

Just been down after trout and just saw another (about 6lbs), showing same features and behaviour. I walked up to it from the side and stood a few feet from it for a good while, then it sloped off upstream.
Walked 100 yards down stream, over a weir and down a rapid section and damn nearly stood on another. Stood with it for a while, and could have touched it with the butt section of my rod.

All of them lying just beneath surface, occasionally rising to break it, and looking like they were breathing hard.

Will come back and pass on any reports I get from EA, but it is not looking good.
Anyone else seen this?
 

tacfly

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 14, 2010
Messages
529
Location
Co. Durham
Salmon could just be Kelts but it does seem very late to still see them in the river. Hopefully it's nothing serious.
 

lipslicker

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 17, 2014
Messages
4,571
Salmon could just be Kelts but it does seem very late to still see them in the river. Hopefully it's nothing serious.
All three had very good weight on and, whilst they weren't fresh run, the undamaged skin had not browned up, for want of a better way of explaining it.
 

bobmiddlepoint

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 28, 2017
Messages
2,477
Fungus on salmon, even fresh run ones, is sadly not rare.
It can occur where the skin has been damaged by physical contact with rocks and weirs or in areas of skin affected by UDN or furunculosis. In both the latter cases the fungus is not the primary disease but takes hold on diseased tissue. Both of these diseases can affect trout as well but I'm not sure about pike.
 

lipslicker

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 17, 2014
Messages
4,571
Fungus on salmon, even fresh run ones, is sadly not rare.
It can occur where the skin has been damaged by physical contact with rocks and weirs or in areas of skin affected by UDN or furunculosis. In both the latter cases the fungus is not the primary disease but takes hold on diseased tissue. Both of these diseases can affect trout as well but I'm not sure about pike.
Three in 24 hours, all looking like Winnie Harlow, in shallows, lethargic and with fins breaking the surface in bright sun?
Does it rot fins?
The patterns of the patches was similar on all three, and I am not sure that would be the case with run wounds?
 

lipslicker

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 17, 2014
Messages
4,571
IMG_0050.JPG

Picture of first one, obviously taken with no polarising lense, but it was so close to surface you can see some of the damage.
All three like this, or worse.
 

diawl bach

Well-known member
Joined
May 17, 2006
Messages
7,525
I've seen sewin and salmon with the same appearance but during a long hot spell in 2013, had a long dialogue with the fisheries staff in NRW whose opinion was the fungus was an external manifestation of stress resulting from the heat.

At the same time one of the west country rivers , the Lyn, was closed due to UDN and we'd all presumed the worst but were assured that the fungus wasn't indicative of UDN and that it was a fairly common non-lethal condition often seen in spring too, caused by a number of factors.

I wonder what it is that's affected the fish in the Ure, it looks pretty awful.
 

bobmiddlepoint

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 28, 2017
Messages
2,477
The behaviour you describe and rotting fins are all pretty typical. Once they have fungus on the head and eyes they are as good as dead. Three in 24 hours is nothing, UDN in the 1960's and 70's killed thousands in some rivers. It really needs someone to collect a few for testing to see if there is an underlying disease. It is of course illegal to take a spring salmon (even a dead one) in England but the one in your picture isn't going to recover so if it was to "die" you would hope the EA would have the sense to do the right thing and check it out for illness rather than worrying about how you came to have it to hand over to them.

It is still possible it could be simply fungus on damage caused by nets or seals or fish that have been caught and released. That said the fungus almost always seems to affect the same areas, head, fins, tail and random patches over the back and flanks.
 

bobmiddlepoint

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 28, 2017
Messages
2,477
I've seen sewin and salmon with the same appearance but during a long hot spell in 2013, had a long dialogue with the fisheries staff in NRW whose opinion was the fungus was an external manifestation of stress resulting from the heat.

At the same time one of the west country rivers , the Lyn, was closed due to UDN and we'd all presumed the worst but were assured that the fungus wasn't indicative of UDN and that it was a fairly common non-lethal condition often seen in spring too, caused by a number of factors.

I wonder what it is that's affected the fish in the Ure, it looks pretty awful.
Common yes but non lethal?
All my salmon fishing life I've seen spring fish die with fungus on them in West Country rivers. The Exe always suffered with it with April and May dropping dead every year. Some years were worse than others but there were always some. I used to see it on the Teign too. Once the fungus covers the head of a spring fish (in spring) it is done for.

A lot of people call it UDN but it probably isn't most of the time, it is as you say down to stress or sometimes damage. It appears more prevalent with the spring run, summer fish suffer far less of it. I don't think I've ever seen a typical UDN ulcer such as you see in pictures of fish with UDN from the 1960's & 70's.

You see exactly the same fungus on fish at spawning time and again some years it is far worse than others. Fish that have got as far as the redds often do last just long enough to spawn even when plastered with the stuff. But the fish in the photo above won't last the week.
 

tacfly

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 14, 2010
Messages
529
Location
Co. Durham
I think bobmiddlepoint has it spot on. Over the years I've seen many Salmon / Kelts in that condition but mainly in November to January. I've also seen diseased sea trout on the Fowey in July. Some kelts will "mend" which means they return their silver colour & improve condition, to an extent that some people will confuse them with spring fish. I don't think that the fish in the photo has much hope unfortunately.
 

codyarrow

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 6, 2010
Messages
3,288
A bit off topic but when I used to breed goldfish and koi I used salt baths as an anti fungus treatment. Fungus occurred because of scale damage most of the time, and was more prevalent during hotter times but did sometimes happen in winter. Maybe moving from the salt to fresh affects some salmons immune defence more than others and mother nature is sorting out the chaff.
I've never seen it in pike, despite all the injuries you see on pike, although I have seen fungus on bream and roach. Maybe that easy salmon dinner was'nt such a good meal deal for mr esox?
Theories are 2 a penny proving them costs a bit more.:)
 

bobmiddlepoint

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 28, 2017
Messages
2,477
Stupid Q, but that looks like photos I used to see of UDN. Has UDN now been eliminated?
No and as far as I know there is no treatment for it (well certainly not in the wild anyway).
But again it probably isn't UDN. The fungus grows exactly like this in UDN but it is a secondary infection on skin damaged by the ulcers of UDN. The fungus itself is not UDN.

In years gone by hatcheries used malachite green to stop fungus infection of stressed or damaged fish (much like the salt baths for koi carp) but that was banned which made holding adult salmon for broodstock much less easy.
 

cb

Fish&Fly
Staff member
Joined
Oct 1, 2008
Messages
1,594
Location
Cumbria
These will be late running kelts (to clarify= Kelts of late spawning salmon - heading back to the sea). The fungus is not unusual at all. If you visit the upper South Tyne or upper Wear in late November or December almost all salmon and sea trout have white fungal patches - some very serve and many die of course - thankfully most having spawned. The fungus cannot survive saltwater (apparently) so if they do make it back they will be fine. They are late in leaving though! The next good flood will flush them out.

Here are typical South Tyne fish in winter.

YouTube

YouTube


cb
 
Last edited:

bobmiddlepoint

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 28, 2017
Messages
2,477
These will be late running kelts.
I doubt that very much. I assume you mean the kelts of late running fish but just how late might they run? I'll grant you March spawners are not unknown but hardly common. Kelts that get fungus are done for and any that survive until May (and are still in the river) will be bright silver, almost certainly very thin and almost never have fungus on them.

It is hard to see from the original picture upthread but the fish doesn't look very kelt like. I suggest they are spring fish which have been stressed by water quality/temperature/physical damage and have picked up fungus just as they do in all rivers with a spring run.
 

lipslicker

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 17, 2014
Messages
4,571
Must say, think I agree with Bob on that.
I guess I don't need to stress the fact I am far from an expert on these things, but they were holding such good weight I would be surprised if they had been in long?

That male pike worried me, with it's similar (though not as bad) skin patches and it's rotting fins. Its tail fin was particularly bad.
I don't think it was down to spawning damage, as it appeared in very shabby order.

The fact there was an outflow from a sewage treatment just upstream from all these fish was a consideration.
 
Top