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Angling Bushcraft

Fish care Q&A thanks to Ben Gratwicke

In my lake are many fish that have a lump sticking out of the side – almost like a broken rib. What is this, can I help heal it and how can I avoid damaging it anymore? Matt, via e-mail

There was only one person to ask – Ben Gratwicke, our fish-farming pal. "The lump sticking out of the fish's side is where the swim bladder has pushed through the ribs of the fish or is pushing on the fish's rib cage. This can be caused by many ways, either mishandling of the fish – i.e. dropping or prolonged time on the bank or poor genetics within the parentage used. By this I mean the shape of the fish has pushed the swim bladder outwards rather than keeping it neatly along its spine, this maybe down to the fish growing a little too quickly.

"One of the other problems with the lump on the fish's side is that it sticks out further than the rest of the fish and therefore catches on things and can become damaged or worse a legion can form.There is very little you can do apart from keep the handling to a minimum and be aware of the problem when handling the fish – i.e. ensure you don't lay it on that 'bad' side when placing it on the unhooking mat."

This article was taken from Issue 82 (January 2011) of CARPology magazine. Be the first to read CARPology's articles in print before they're posted on-line, and get your hands on loads of additional content by subscribing on-line.