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BOSSIER PARISH, LA (KSLA) -
A family fishing trip turns sour when every fish they caught is covered in red sores and blisters. Locals are worried the chemicals sprayed in Lake Bistineau are making the fish sick, but the state says that is not the case.
"There's actually through here some ropes that the kids get on and swing out into the lake and we wouldn't even let them get in the water," says Summer Chapman, who caught several sick fish. She would not let her kids swim in the lake because of the fish.
"We casted out and started catching fish and every fish that we caught had sores on it. We got one of them and it had sores all over it. It was like their scales were kind of falling off or something, and they were raised up in a way" Chapman says.
The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Department says this is very common in lakes this time of the year.
"In this case, these red sores that people see now are a product of a parasite and they get a little bacterial infection on that so it is very common," Mike Wood with the state Wildlife and Fisheries, says.
Many people have concerns that the sores are products of herbicide spraying the state department is doing to control Giant Salvinia. "They have all these chemicals they are putting in the water right now to kill the salvinia and it's not good. Chemicals are chemicals" Chapman says.
Wood says the herbicides are safe, and the sick fish are just a product of nature.
"It is not the product of herbicides at all. This is something that we see annually, this is something that we are very familiar with, this is something that we know is not a problem, so we don't intend to do any sampling on the bases of this, but we are always open to anything else that might come along," Wood says.
Wildlife and Fisheries says, to use your best judgment, but you can eat the fish if you clean around the sores. They also say this is not a parasite that affects humans, or any warm blooded animal like pets.