ASTORIA -- When Tom Frith of Tigard filleted his chinook salmon recently, he was shocked to find the rich orange flesh riddled with quarter-sized white cysts.
And horrified when one of them exploded under an exploratory knife, spraying material everywhere.

"I'm not even sure I want to save it for crab bait," Frith said. "I called and was told it's harmless and the meat is still edible; I'm not going to mention what I have to say about that."

Frith's fish was afflicted with Henneguya Salminicola, an unusual but not uncommon parasitic condition known more commonly as "tapioca," or "rice" disease.

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