Largemouth bass with black "camouflage" look caught and released on Onondaga Lake
by David Figura, The Post-Standard
Kansas marinas, such as this one on Hillsdale Lake, could see an influx of boats if Kansans vote yes on the Boat Property Tax Amendment, says BoatUS.
PENNSYLVANIA, October 29, 2012 - Nick Giamei, of Homer, caught and released this interesting-looking, 18-inch largemouth bass with a "camouflage" coloring on Onondaga Lake late last week.
"It looked really healthy," Giamei said, adding he caught it on a jig and pig lure. "It definitely had some unique markings. I caught a couple of others that day with tags, but no others had markings."
He said he's caught bass before that have had black spots on their tails, or on their lips -- "but nothing like this guy."
He said he caught the fish on the west side, directly across from the county boat launch in Liverpool.
David Lemon, the regional fisheries manager at the state Department of Environmental Conservation’s Cortland office, said it’s nothing to be concerned about.
“Although interesting, this type of spotted black pigmentation is not unique to Onondaga Lake. We have seen and heard reports of smallmouth and largemouth bass with similar black pigmentation marks in other waters as well, namely the Seneca and Susquehanna River, Oneida Lake, and Cayuga Lake,” Lemon said.
“In addition, these spots have been reported on bass from many other states as well, but I am not aware of any definitive findings of what causes these melanistic changes, known as melanosis,” he said.
Meanwhile, I Googled "black spots and bass" and found a story about bass with black blotches in the Pennsylvania part of the Susquehanna River. According to the story, published in The Patriot-News, the condition is commonly known as ‘blotchy bass’ or ‘black spot’ and has been documented occasionally in various Pennsylvania waters since as early as 1980.
While some have speculated the reason by the condition, Pennsylvania fish and wildlife officials say the condition has not been linked to specific pollution events, nor is there any evidence to suggest that blotchy bass condition is related to any disease issues.
The bottom line: the spots are limited to skin discoloration and the fish are safe to consume under the state’s general fish consumption guidelines, the story reported.