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Lake Erie Angler Catches Fish With Mysterious Shiny Black Growths

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) -- Biologists with the Pennsylvania Fish Commission say they have been notified after a Lake Erie angler caught a fish with mysterious shiny black growths on it.

Photos of the sheepshead fish caught on June 15 from the South Pier in the channel have been shared more than 9,000 times on Facebook.

Photo Credit: Erie Pennsylvania Sport Fishing Association/Facebook

The photos show the sheepshead with what appears to be shiny black growths near the tail.

"Hey guys, one of our officers saw some pretty gross fish over the weekend. They appear to have some sort of shiny black growth on the skin of the fish," Mark Haffley, a biologist posted on the page.

The Pennsylvania Fish Commission says a conservation officer happened to be in the area where the fish was caught, and took the photos.

The fish was then released back into the lake.

The shiny black blobs appeared to be some sort of growth and was external, officials said.

Photo Credit: Erie Pennsylvania Sport Fishing Association/Facebook

Several other anglers report catching fish with similar black growths on them.

"Caught this sheepshead last year off of the south pier," fisherman Tom Kingsmore posted.

Angler Matt Romanosky says he also caught a sheepshead with the same type of growth last week off the North Pier.

PA Fish Commission biologist Mark Haffley says, "if you see anything like this while out fishing please keep the fish for sampling if legal to catch and get it tested by PA Fish Commission Biologist, please. Appreciate all your help."

The PA Fish Commission also says they have not issued any sort of advisory about eating fish from the lake.

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