For the past 2 years we have been catching Lake Trout through the ice and have found rubber worms lodged in the intestines of the fish with diameters of almost 1/2 inch. I feel that these fish were doomed for they would have starved to death. The worms are from bass fishermen from the summer and the trout have snatched them up on the shoals instead of the bass. I guess this is an awareness thing folks.
Thanks for the post and welcome to Fishing Reminder.
It is not actually rubber. It is soft plastic.
I understand your concerns. It certainly sounds like an issue that needs to be looked at. Have you contacted any bodies of authority such as Fisheries, Universities, Marine Biologists etc ?
I must say that I have never heard or read about any environmental or biological issues related to the use of soft plastic lures. That is not to say there are not any, just that I have not heard of any.
I have on the other hand heard and read plenty of debate about soft plastic verses fresh bait.
The fact that you have been catching these trout for two years, sort of tells me there is no issue. If the trout are taking your bait, then they are eating. I am sure if they were blocked up with a soft plastic, they would not be trying to eat. I know some animals and fish will regurgitate to make room for fresh food. Sharks like great white are known for it. But do trout regurgitate?
Most animals, including fish, are simply not capable of swallowing anything that is to large to pass through. Yes, some do, and they rely on digestive acids to brake down things to large...but do trout?
It sounds to me that the trout are ingesting these soft plastic lures because they are capable of doing so and are capable of passing them. If they were not capable, then they would not be looking for more food and hence you would not be catching them.
Or, on the other side of the coin. They might be blocked and seeking more food out of desperation. But if that were the case, they would most likely look thin and under weight. But they are healthy enough looking for you to keep, otherwise you would not be cutting them open...
Yes, this is an issue that looks like it needs some proper investigation.
itsaboat mate...Life is just a boat and then ya marry one !