The Whitefish Pike Parasite Triaenophorus Crassus

T. A. Dick, R. A. Watson, (1977). Manitoba Nat. 17, 26-31.

“Parasites”! This word conjures up two unpleasant images in the thoughts of man, the first, individuals who benefit at the expense of other members of society without themselves making a contribution. The second image is that of death caused by parasites such as malaria, of malnutrition caused by hookworms, and of damage to the productivity of crops and livestock. It is not surprising then that any host animal which has parasites is immediately condemned unfit to eat. But this is not always the case and certainly not so for the tapeworm Triaenophorus crassus in whitefish. The presence of T. crassus larvae (an immature stage) coiled in a cyst in the flesh of whitefish or ciscoes is objectionabte to the consumer housewife, who quickly reaches for unparasitized marine fishes. Wormy fish are condemned and the commercial fishermen receive little reward for their efforts to harvest these products of our great western lakes.