Freshwater lice found at popular Bute loch

The freshwater louse Argulus foliaceus has been found on pike caught at Loch Fad.
The freshwater louse Argulus foliaceus has been found on pike caught at Loch Fad.

The owner of Loch Fad Fisheries says he is doing everything he can to contain an outbreak of freshwater lice at the popular angling venue.

The Argulus foliaceus louse, which does not harm humans but can create wounds which are fatal to fish, was discovered on a pike landed at the loch at the end of May, and notices have been put up instructing anglers to disinfect all nets and equipment on arrival at, and departure from, the loch.

Jimmy Poole from Loch Fad Fisheries told The Buteman: “I’ve spoken to Marine Scotland and followed their guidance - I’m keeping our pens empty, only re-stocking on delivery when needed, and supplying disinfectant dips at the side of the loch. All we can do is be as responsible as possible and keep as close an eye on the situation as we can.”

Mr Poole also said Loch Fad’s trout population appeared so far to be unaffected by the outbreak.

* More on this story in the July 19 of The Buteman - on sale now!