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Chesapeake Checkup

What does mycobacteriosis mean for Maryland's striper stock?

September 21, 2007
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SICK STRIPERS: Mycobacteriosis has infected as many as 75 percent of Chesapeake Bay stripers-but not this one.

Chesapeake bay striped bass have been in the news lately-and the news hasn’t been good.

“The state’s striped bass are in trouble from mycobacteriosis, a disease that has infected up to 75 percent of the population,” warned the Maryland Capital.

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But according to the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (MDNR), mycobacteriosis is nothing new, and the stock remains healthy.

“Fish can be infected, but not sick,” says Charlie Gates, a MDNR spokesman. “It’s an issue we’ve been concerned about for almost ten years.”

The MDNR compiled a fact sheet on how to prevent “handler’s disease” when touching infected fish and how to safely consume the fish. Among the tips are:

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¿ Wear gloves to prevent cuts from fins and spines.

¿ Release fish with pronounced sores.

¿ Bass that are cooked properly pose no threat to humans.

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To view the complete report, visit www.dnr.state.md.us.
– Sam Merwin

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