Gill lice detected in rainbow trout in Southwest Virginia

The parasites were found in Blue Springs Creek

WYTHE COUNTY, Va. – Officials are warning fishers of a parasite found in Southwest Virginia recently.

Gill lice were discovered in Smyth and Wythe counties, according to the Department of Wildlife Resources.

Biologists found the parasitic copepods, which are a type of zooplankton, on some rainbow trout in Blue Springs Creek.

While experts say a minor infection can generally be tolerated by fish, it can impact a fish’s ability to breathe if it’s a serious case.

Anglers are asked to be on the lookout to determine the extent of the discovery.

If you’ve gone fishing recently and eaten the freshly-caught trout, there’s no need to panic. Experts say infected trout can be safely eaten as long as they are cooked properly.

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