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Will cold smoking kill fish parasites?

Carrie Wilson author badge for myoutdoorbuddy.com

recently caught a number of trout that had what I believe to be parasites called “Lernaea” attached to them in various places. I know after reading another posting from this column titled “Parasites and Trout” that these “are killed during cooking, effectively eliminating any possibility of infecting humans eating the fish,” but I am considering smoking them. Would these parasites pose any threat if the trout were cold smoked rather than cooked, or would the curing that takes place eliminate any threat as well? Presumably if they were hot smoked there would be no threat because the fish are then cooked. I appreciate any info you can provide. Thanks. (Keith R.)

Answer: First off, Lernea and other external parasitic copepods of fish are not transmissible to humans.

As far as fish brining and smoking (even hot smoking), according to Dr. William Cox, California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) Program Manager of Fish Production and Distribution, there are other parasites that warrant more serious consideration, such as anasakine nematodes and human tapeworms. These parasites are not reliably killed by brining, smoking or even freezing. The only way to ensure they are killed is to thoroughly cook your fish. Generally, we are not worried about those parasites in freshwater fish caught in California. But, nematodes are a concern and they are commonly found in saltwater fish of all species.

CDFW photo by Debra Hamilton
CDFW photo by Debra Hamilton

For any additional questions related to human health issues, please contact the California Department of Public Health www.cdph.ca.gov.

How are deer hunting zones determined?
Question: What is the history of the deer hunting zones in California and how were they formed and decided upon? I assume the decision on the zone boundaries, tag quotas, seasons, etc. involved the Fish and Game Commission, science gathered by wildlife biologists and land managers, the public, etc. When did the random drawing fund-raising tags for big game begin? (Travis B.)

Answer: California deer zones were originally developed in 1978 to reduce deer hunting pressure in certain areas of the state. Here’s how they came about.

In the late 1940s and early 1950s, there was a tremendous demand for lumber to satisfy a growing demand for housing. Timber harvest created large areas of early successional habitat upon which mule and black-tailed deer thrived. By the 1960s and 1970s, changing land use practices began to change the landscape. Fire suppression, grazing and commercial/residential development projects caused the loss or degradation of deer habitat. With the reduced areas of deer habitat (and land available for hunting), the result meant higher concentrations of hunters in certain areas.

As land use practices changed and deer habitat was lost, by the winter of 1966-67 significant decreases in deer numbers were also observed. These low deer numbers were likely due to a combination of factors including habitat loss and degradation, and severe winter conditions.

Harvest numbers continued to show a downward trend into the 1970s and it was during this time that CDFW began to implement more conservative deer hunting regulations. Fewer deer and intense hunter pressure (particularly on mule deer) required new conservation measures to sustain deer populations. To relieve hunting pressure on mule deer, the decision was made to go to a zone system.

In 1978, CDFW used the best available information (along with the public’s input) to establish hunt zones that reflected the biological needs of the state’s 81 deer herds and their associated habitats. Currently, California has 44 hunt zones with some designated as premium hunts available through a lottery system. The zone/tag quota system currently in place is the result of the changes that began in 1978.

Handing off?
Question: Can two people be in a boat (both with licenses) with one person diving and handing abalone to the other person on the boat? (Janet R.)

Answer: No. Abalone may not be passed to another person until they are tagged and recorded on the abalone report card. “Cardholders … shall not transfer any abalone from his or her immediate possession unless they are first tagged and recorded on the report card” (CCR Title 14, section 29.16(b)(1)). After they are tagged and recorded, the diver can give his or her daily bag limit of abalone to the other person, but the diver cannot take any more abalone that day.

Can mice be used as bait?
Question: Is it legal to use mice as bait for stripers and bass? (Chris M.)

Answer: Despite the fact that there are many artificial lures on the market that look like mice, real mice may not be used in inland waters. Only legally acquired and possessed invertebrates, mollusks, crustaceans, amphibians (except salamanders), fish eggs and treated and processed foods may be used for bait (CCR Title 14, section 4.00). In ocean waters, there are no restrictions on using mice as bait for stripers.

Carrie Wilson is a marine environmental scientist with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. While she cannot personally answer everyone’s questions, she will select a few to answer each week in this column. Please contact her at CalOutdoors@wildlife.ca.gov.

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All that’s left of the ghost town of Newville are the remains of this service station. I remember the old hand-pump gas tank still being out front during the 1960s; it’s gone now. Photo by Steven T. Callan
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The drake mallard, with its iridescent green head., by Steven T. Callan
On Patrol by Steven T. Callan 
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ODFW Weekly Recreation Report

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Western Toad, by kathy callan
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Rafting on the American River, by Steven T. Callan
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Male hooded oriole in pomegranate tree, photo by Steven T. Callan
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Don Webster, author badge, myoutdoorbuddy.com
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hand holding fish, by phil akers
Article and photos by Phil “Flip” Akers
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​A Letter to Ted Trueblood

Ted Trueblood, photo courtesy of Don Webster
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Example of what happens to a flat tire driven at freeway speed and possibly ten miles distance, photo by Don Stec
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A stately bull elk in Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park. Photo by Kathy Callan
By Steven T. Callan
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Steven T. Callen with one of three orphaned black bear cubs, circa 1981. Photo courtesy of Steven T. Callan
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Susan Lake, photo by Phil Akers
Article and photos by Phil “Flip” Akers
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A Jewel in the Desert

Once coveted by the pet trade, native reptiles, like this chuckwalla, may no longer be sold in California. Photo by Steven T. Callan
By Steven T. Callan
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Indigo snake
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ish and Wildlife Warden Jerry Karnow with suspected poisoned bear at an illegal marijuana grow site. Photo courtesy of California Department of Fish and Wildlife Warden Jerry Karnow
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Life is hard... it's even harder if you're stupid, John Wayne
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Pup, Phil Akers, A Happy Dog is a Panting Dog
Article and photos by Phil "Flip" Akers
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Butte Valley Wildlife Area with Mount Shasta in background, photo by Kathy and Steven Callan
By Steven T. Callan 
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USMC Tactical Survival Axe, AKA: ‘The Bruiser’, photo by William E. Simpson
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blue lake surrounded by gray snow peaked mountains with green grass meadow in the foreground. Photo by Phil Flip Akers
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A humungous crowd of people.
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Silver mobile home with striped awning, parked on a grassy field alongside a river with forested hills leading up to snow capped mountains. Photo by William E. Simpson
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Snow geese at Sacramento National Wildlife Refuge. photo by Steven T. Callan
Article and photos by Steven T. Callan
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Disaster Preparedness Strategies – Part II

NASA image depicting solar storm impacting earth’s geomagnetic field.
By Capt. William E. Simpson, USMM
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Wild (feral) stallions competing - copyright Laura Simpson 2014
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Ishi

 Newspaper headline from early August 1911. Photo courtesy of the Sacramento Bee.
By Phil 'Flip' Akers
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Tall Trees and Emerald Waters

Kathy at Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park, beside one of the largest (redwood) trees on Earth., photo by Steven T. Callan
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Lassen National Volcanic Park

Jim Broshears, Mt. Lassen view from Brokeoff Mountain
By Jim Broshears
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Peak Bagging in Winter

Peak Bagging in Winter, Jim Broshears, Trailhead Adventures, Paradise, CA, MyOutdoorBuddy.com By Jim Broshears
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The Mystery of the Middle Fork – Part III

Jim Broshears, Trailhead Tales author badge for My outdoor buddy
By Jim Broshears
04/09/14 -- Our search for Tuck’s lost meadow continued in 2013. After three previous trips and multiple days of searching, you might be wondering why we don’t just call it a day. Or possibly question why we have not... Full Story

The 'Death Wobble' -- Be Safe Not Sorry!

Death Wobble, underbody of a vehicle, Don Stec
Article and photos by Don Stec
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The Mystery of the Middle Fork -- Part II

Article and photos by Jim Broshears
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The Mystery of the Middle Fork -- Part I

The Mystery of the Missing Valley By Jim Broshears
Article and photos by Jim Broshears
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