February 24th is the contest.
Manure is most likely the cause.
Like said kept track last spring. From May through June 163 crappie 24 had it. I only kept the infected ones. Others who kept track had close to the same percentages.
DNR isn't too concerned so guess not a problem.
DNR knows about it's 100% black crappie Sarcoma. I would say it affects 10 to 15% of the population in Mason. Majority of the ones affected are over 10". Few of us kept track last spring. No one (DNR) is 100% sure if they are safe to eat. It started showing up 3 or 4 years ago.
I don’t think that is columaris. Columaris is a fairly common bacterial infection that occurs in the spring when waters are much warmer. Because it is a bacterial infection, it needs a certain temperature for the bacteria to grow.
VHS however does show itself at lower temps which are present below the ice. The only way to positively identify it is to get it tested. I would suggest contacting the DNR and see if they could pick it up and test it.
It is definitely possible to have both pathogens in the lake although VHS hasn’t been confirmed outside of the Winnebago system of lakes yet.
We found a very disturbing thing on several Black Crappies we caught, and after researching further found that the fish have a infection called COLUMNARIS. It may be a common effect of Crappies, but we never seen it on fish in Lake Mason before. DNR recommends if caught, remove fish from the lake, don't leave it on the ice, don't throw the fish back, dispose of the fish in a proper dump site, and don't "Eat The Fish". No one knows if it effects humans. Otherwise, good fishing and have fun.
Here's what I found on planted and stunted Bluegills
Management: Bluegill overpopulation, especially in small bodies of water that lack predator fish, often leads to stunted populations. Fish managers have experimented with different techniques to reduce bluegill populations, and in turn, increase fish size. Stocking predator fish in lakes with a stunted bluegill population has some success, but even stunted bluegills can be too large for predator fish if they are stocked as fingerlings. Establishing predator populations in lakes that have experienced winterkill or that have been treated to remove stunted populations is more successful at preventing panfish populations from becoming stunted. Chemical treatment is highly effective but it eliminates all fish, including predators, and requires expensive restocking efforts.
A more recent technique is to draw down lakes before they freeze. This practice can: create winterkill conditions, reducing stunted populations; concentrate bluegills in the remaining water, making it easier for predators to prey on them; and freeze out aquatic vegetation that provides bluegills shelter from predators during the summer. Lake drawdowns usually require landowner agreement and can only take place where the water level is easily controlled.
Environmental concerns: Stunted bluegill populations often occur in lakes that have abundant amounts of aquatic vegetation. The vegetation not only provides basic food sources for bluegills, the dense cover makes it difficult for predator fish to prey on them. Harvesting or chemically treating vegetation is costly and provides only a temporary remedy. A more long-term approach to controlling aquatic plant growth is to limit the nutrients that flow into lakes and rivers from sewage effluent, leaking septic systems and agricultural and lawn fertilizers.
Because bluegills are low on the aquatic food chain, have a low fat content and live relatively short lives, they do not accumulate toxic chemicals or metals in their flesh to the extent that larger, longer-living predator fish do.
Source: WI DNR