Sandy Flesh is Spreading in Colorado
Have you ever heard of 'Sandy Flesh'? I know I had never heard of it before, but that was until this morning. That was when I discovered that not only was this a rare disease, but that this rare disease has now spread into Colorado, where I happen to live. Needless to say, this news warranted a little bit of further reading.
It's lucky that I did that additional research, because I was very quickly able to determine that this was a fish disease, so I didn't really need to worry about the sudden need to mask up again this year; well, not yet anyway. That being said, we do eat fish in Colorado...should this 'Sandy Flesh' still be of some concern?
Well, the short answer is 'yes', though it's not necessarily as serious as that might make you assume. You see, we don't really know much about how this disease affects humans, and as such it is not recommended that you eat diseased fish. You wouldn't think that would need to be said out loud, but you'd be surprised.
What is 'Sandy Flesh'?
According to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, myofibrogranuloma, the scientific street-name for 'Sandy Flesh', is a virus that is most-commonly found in lakes around Minnesota, Wisconsin, and North and South Dakota. The disease can leave fish looking normal on the outside, but with translucent, discolored and knotted muscle fibers. The look of the condition is not dissimilar to that of freezer burn, though it can also cause mineral deposits and a grainy texture, hence the name.
Should We Be Worried?
Colorado Parks and Wildlife confirmed the case in a single Walleye that was caught at Lake Pueblo State Park. Since Walleye are the only fish that are known to be affected by this virus, and the virus itself is not infectious, it looks like this isn't a severe problem just yet. However, if you do catch a Walleye that appears to be suffering from 'Sandy Flesh', be sure to report it to CPW immediately.