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treepotato
06-12-2004, 12:13 AM
Hello all,
I have become very concerned lately about the conditions of our lakes and streams . I found some very disturbing news here in indiana when reading some fish advisories from the EPA on alot of bodies of water here in this state and I assume it's about the same all over. I never realized crappie were as affected as they are! I enjoy eating crappie maybe even more than catching them and never knew my home waters (salamonie reservoir) had consumption advisories. The DNR says you should not completely quit eating these fish but you should limit your intake to 8oz. per week! When I set down to a mess of crappie I guarantee you 8 oz. is just a dent. I don't know how everyone else feels but If there is an advisory of any kind it scares me to death to eat any! Maybe I am getting carried away and paranoid but I am just curious if everyone here eats their crappie or just practices catch and release. When I think about PCB's and Mercury etc, It makes me not want to eat any more crappie which is a shame because I simply love it which only enhances the whole fishing experience. If any of you can add to this thread and maybe educate me on this subject I would greatly appreciate it.
Thanks and tight lines to all of you.......treepotato

Shellback
06-12-2004, 07:35 AM
I'm wondering if the statistics given for the amount you can eat per week is based on a yearly average or per actual week. In other words, is the weekly amount all your body can process in a week, or are they adding up 52 weeks a year and giving you a weekly average? Another point is many of these contaminates build up in the body of the fish, or human for that matter. So is the level they are saying you can eat based on a persons life time? Can an older person pig out, yet the younger you are the more cautious you should be?

Roberta
06-12-2004, 08:26 AM
The consumption advisories here in Ohio are about the same. Higher caution is given for fish caught in rivers due to industrial pollution. The lakes we generally fish are fed by small creeks rather than large dammed rivers like the big TVA lakes, so we're not overly concerned.
I will say, we never keep catfish larger than two pounds and rarely eat fish more than once a week anyway, plus we're both light eaters. I would never consider eating fish caught in one of our large rivers.
The water is a whole lot better than when I was a kid and had to hold my nose to walk across the High Street Bridge over the Great Miami in Hamilton, but the danger stills lurks in the mud. - Roberta

Moose1am
06-12-2004, 10:19 AM
I am glad that someone else besides me brought this subject up. It's important to discuss this subject and to make people aware of what is going on in our environment. If you eat fish then you should become aware of what you are eating. Only by educating the fishing public can something be done about this.

As for toxin's being eliminated by the body well there are some toxins such as Mercury that are not easliy eliminated by the body. Mercury bioaccumultes in the flesh of plants and then animals and is not excreted from the body. It's not metabolized and therefore it can't be eliminated. This means that it ACCUMULATES in our bodies over time. The more contaminated fish we eat the more mercury we get in our bodies. Mercury is a heavy metal (ELEMENT) that interferes with the central nervouos system, brain and the nerves of the body.

The mercury found in the fish we eat in general comes from the buring of coal and the release of the smoke into the air at great heights above the ground. Some pre 1977 smoke stacks in Indiana are over 500ft tall and some may be about 1000 ft tall. Also the velocity of the air in the smoke stacks along with the heated air causes the plume of smoke to rise above the smoke stack for several thousand feet at times. Winds aloft can carry this smoke for hundreds of miles and smoke from the Midwest can effect the Smokey Mountains and Kill the forests and effect the trout in the streams and in the trout farms.

A lot has been done to control the sulfur in the coal and the particulates that are emitted when coal is burned but there is still a lot of smoke coming out of the stacks and being emitted into the ambient air that we all have to breath.

This year some of the smoke stacks have had Nitrogen Oxide controls added to them to help eliminate one of the precursors that forms ozone.

While we continue to add new controls on the smoke stacks the air pollution problems are being controlled more and more. But I am not aware of any specific controls that can take the mercury out of the smoke stack emissions.

Since we have been buring coal in the midwest for over 100 years now the amount of mercury that has been added to our environment (surface of the earth) has increased a great deal. It's this surface contamination that is effecting our lakes and steams and therefore the fish that we eat.

We have several choises. We can stop eating fish so that we are not contaminated. We can limit the amount of fish that we eat over our lifetime to try to reduce the amount of toxins that enter our bodies. We can also try to get those producing the toxins to stop putting them into the environment. The latter will cost money. We the rate payers will eventually decide on what we want to happen.

One thing to remember is that the mercury was not created by man but it was taken from deep in the earth when the coal was mined and brought back up to the surface. We can't destory the mercury but we could tie it up in a form that is not so harmful to mankind.

I personally am worried about eating the fish today. I am releasing the fish that I catch for the most part.

I started worrying about what was in the fish a long time ago. Back in 1983 I caught several large mouth bass out of Kentucky Lake that were deformed. These fish were really deformed with humped backs and funny looking lower jaws. There were 4lb largemouth bass and one 6lb fish. I would guess that these bass were several years old. I started wondering what could have caused them to be deformed. So I got out my maps and started tracing the origins of the Tennesse River that flows into Kentucky Lake. That river runs all the way back to Oakridge TN where they first did research on Atomic Bombs and nuclear energy. So I often wondered if any radiation has leaked into the river over the last 50 years and may be the cause of the deformed fish. While I am just guessing and have no data to back up my hunch I still wonder why the fish were so deformed. Something had to cause the fish to be so deformed.

Bottom line is that the more fish you eat that are contaminated with mercury or pcb the more of these toxins you will have building up in your body.









I'm wondering if the statistics given for the amount you can eat per week is based on a yearly average or per actual week. In other words, is the weekly amount all your body can process in a week, or are they adding up 52 weeks a year and giving you a weekly average? Another point is many of these contaminates build up in the body of the fish, or human for that matter. So is the level they are saying you can eat based on a persons life time? Can an older person pig out, yet the younger you are the more cautious you should be?

treepotato
06-12-2004, 02:51 PM
Moose,
Hey, thanks for all the info. I had heard alot of that over the years but just like alot of us I really did'nt take it too seriously. Now that I am getting alot more serious about crappie fishing and soaking up all the info I can on them It really bothers me to think that our environment has gotten this bad! Do you know of any way of telling how bad the fish are contaminated in any given body of water or if there are any waters left here in indiana that are safe to consume fish from? I have caught so many nice bluegill from the strip pits of Linton and crappie from the salamonie and have consumed such a large amount of them over the years that it's a wonder Im even sitting here talking to you. No wonder I never feel good anymore..LOL. Or maybe being 43 has something to do with that. Anyway Im glad you answered back with some very helpful info and maybe by the time our grandkids fish they might not have to worry about these threats. Thanks again....treepotato

Moose1am
06-12-2004, 05:18 PM
Treepotato:

I base my fish consumption on what the Indiana Department of Health says. Go to www.wildlife.IN.gov (http://www.wildlife.IN.gov) and look under the fishing section. Then look under the the heading Fish Consumption Guide (ISDH Publication) There you can find the latest information on lakes in IN. I suspect that other States may also post fish consumption information. Also there may be a laboratory where you could have some of the fish tested. Not sure where the state does the testing. I suspect that it would be performed in Indianapolis. The state heath department should have a laboratory that performs analytical chemical testing. I would recommend calling the Indiana State Department of Health and ask who does the testing and then talk to the chemist's themselves.
I would suspect that the Indiana DNR may provide the fish samples to the ISDH for testing. I do know that IDNR does conduct fish sampling surveys. You could call the IDNR and ask where they got the fish from.

Here is the address to use to get your questions answered:

Indiana State Department of Health
Environmental Epidemiology
2 N. Meridian St., Section 3D
Indianapolis, IN 46204
(317) 233-7416



Another thing that I would like people to do is to contact their State Representative and ask them to help us control mercury emissions in the future. Send him or her an email and ask for their help. Who knows maybe if enough concerned citizens request help we might get them more involved. Not sure that we can elimate the mercury that is already in the soil and water but we could try to prevent futher mercury from being emitted into our environment.


I worked for a company that tested coal for the Industry. Our company would send people out in the field and collect samples of the coal and then test the coal back in the lab for many different chemical and physical properties. Also in the lab we performed ground water testing for the area coal companies. One of the tests we performed was one testing for mercury in the water. I watched the chemist preparing the water samples and there was a lot of work involved in that mercury test. There is a lot of sample preparation and it's very time consuming. I do remember that not many companies were actually requesting that we test the water for mercury. We maybe tested 10 to 20 samples at a time. I never saw anyone asking for us to test fish samples though. But when I was at Purdue University taking my BioChemistry Class we did some research on DDT in field mice. We dissected the field mice and put the different organs in groups. All the hearts were tested and all the livers were tested along with all the other organs. We found that certain organs had more DDT in them than others. So maybe fish also put the mercury in different parts of their bodies. I do know that mercury effects the central nervious system of animals. So maybe the mercury is accumulating in the fishs' brains and spinal cords more than ini the actual muscles. If that is the case (A BIG IF HERE) then maybe most of the mercury would be thrown away and not eaten if you filet the fish and remove the spinal cord, brains and the fish guts. I know that I always try to filet the fish that I catch. It's been years since I just gutted and scalled a fish before eating it. I even filet the bluegills that I catch for the most part.

So by limiting the amount of filets we eat each week we can limit the amount of mercury that we get in our bodies. We all probably have some amount of mercury in our bodies. I know that even the fillings in my teeth have mercury algamate in them. My dentist said that it was safe but others say that it can enter other parts of the body from the fillings. I am not sure who to believe. It would be expensive and very painful to have all the mercury in my teeth replaced today. Since my dentist is retired or dead now I can't get him to do the job.

What I would like to see is more research performed on this subject. Right now it's a hot topic in some circles.

I know that some chemicals are used th Chelate (tie up or remove) the heavy metals and remove them from the body.




Moose,
Hey, thanks for all the info. I had heard alot of that over the years but just like alot of us I really did'nt take it too seriously. Now that I am getting alot more serious about crappie fishing and soaking up all the info I can on them It really bothers me to think that our environment has gotten this bad! Do you know of any way of telling how bad the fish are contaminated in any given body of water or if there are any waters left here in indiana that are safe to consume fish from? I have caught so many nice bluegill from the strip pits of Linton and crappie from the salamonie and have consumed such a large amount of them over the years that it's a wonder Im even sitting here talking to you. No wonder I never feel good anymore..LOL. Or maybe being 43 has something to do with that. Anyway Im glad you answered back with some very helpful info and maybe by the time our grandkids fish they might not have to worry about these threats. Thanks again....treepotato

Jerry Blake
06-15-2004, 07:21 PM
I eat a LOT of fish and feed it to my family so I too am concerned about heavy metals and other harmful pollutants in our soil, rivers and lakes. But life is full of risks and right now I donít think the risk of eating fish out of the lakes I fish is high enough to stop.

Drinking, smoking (even second hand), driving on our highways, eating processed meats and poultry and just about everything else we consume or even just hanging around the house all have risks and I guess itís up to each of us to determine what risk level we are willing to live with and do what we can to reduce the risks we face every day.

We definitely need to do what we can to clean up our environment and reduce pollution. This USPIRG (http://www.uspirg.org/) - is a watchdog organization that makes it real easy to keep up to date on legislation and government decisions that affect the environment.

They also make it very easy to contact the EPA, your state representatives and congressmen to voice your opinion.

There is an article about mercury on the main page and if you click on the link you can send a letter to the EPA right from your computer.

You can also sign up to receive notices by email when a bill is coming up for a vote or other decisions are about to be made that affect the environment. In each case you will get an overview of the situation and instructions on what you can do to affect the outcome.

Here is a link that is supposed to have links for each state's consumption advisory.

State Consumption Advisories (http://www.checnet.org/healthehouse/education/articles-detail.asp?Main_ID=717)

I suspect that most of them are overly cautious but it probably would be a good idea to follow them in general. But, keep in mind that there are also benefits to eating fish, which likely outweigh the risks in most situations.

FISH (AND EAT FISH) ON!
Jerry Blake
Action Fishing Trips (http://www.actionfishingtrips.com)

Cane Pole
06-15-2004, 09:15 PM
I eat lots of fish from the Paris, Tn. Kentucky lake area...I had a complete Blood Panel run at my physical 3 months ago...All tests were good (liver, lung, kidney, etc.)...Any contimanents would have shown up on these tests...Things are a lot better now than they were when I was young as far as pollutants go...I have not read or heard any reports of anyone around our area dying or being affected by water contaminants...I am sure contaminants exists, but to what level I do not know...As I approach retirement, I worry more about being stuck in some "HOME" than what I eat...Many of my friends fish and eat what they catch...None of them have any problems that I am aware of----well, a couple of them are somewhat mentally dearranged or demented...I have always been told you are what you eat...I ain't grew any gills yet, nor is there any mercury thermometers sprouting yet...I have survived Viet Nam...I have survived eating river fish and I am surviving five grandchildren (I hope)...I think the only thing I want survive is getting out of this world alive...Live your life..Take a few chances...But don't be a damn fool...

My input for what it is worth....

Cane Pole

Bill2
06-15-2004, 10:03 PM
Not a bad way to be Cane Pole. I have pretty much survived the same as you (no grandkids though) so understand where you are coming from.

Treepotato keep in mind that Salamonie has a warning for only those at risk as far as eating crappies go. And based on your info you "ain't" at risk. So eat what you want and throw the rest back for another day. And keep in mind this doesn't mean I think we have clean water everwhere. I just think that we have, as others have said, bigger fish to fry. So to speak.

Bill

slab_seeker
06-16-2004, 01:47 PM
Thanks Jerry and Cane pole, Asess the risk, make a choice and and try to make things better.

big "E"
06-16-2004, 03:41 PM
Cane pole , I couldnt think of a better way to put it.Im not as old as you gentlemen .As a matter of fact I was barely born as vietnam came to a close.But life throws many more curve balls than the fish we enjoy.I personally come from a family that cancer pays particular attention to.Actually , there hasnt been a man in my family live past 35 in 3 generations.Im 31 now so , even though I dont have the life experience of some of you fellows, I still feel as though Im counting the days some times.It is really hard to find something in life that you really enjoy doing.And even harder to find something that uncle sam is willing to let you get away with.Fishing is this thing to me.And cleaning and eating the fish I catch is a way for me to hang on to the past with what my father taught me long ago, and a way to pass this on to my children who never had the chance to meet him.Imay never meet their children either,but hopefully this tradition will continue and I will in some way have had a n affect on their life too.In short , life is "WAY TOO SHORT".Dont die wondering.Eric.

slab_seeker
06-16-2004, 05:42 PM
I know what your talking about Big E, all the men on my mom's side of the family have died early from heart attacks and not much better on my dad's side. I ain't waiting till retirement, if there is one, to enjoy life. People complain that taking 6 weeks off a year is too much, screw them, you never know when it's checkout time. I'll work just enough to live and hunt and fish. While I'm venting screw P.E.T.A too, I like mine fried

labill
06-16-2004, 06:15 PM
You hit the nail right on the head slab seeker.....oh yeah, I like mine fried too.

shores
06-18-2004, 10:38 AM
I am glad that someone else besides me brought this subject up. It's important to discuss this subject and to make people aware of what is going on in our environment. If you eat fish then you should become aware of what you are eating. Only by educating the fishing public can something be done about this.

As for toxin's being eliminated by the body well there are some toxins such as Mercury that are not easliy eliminated by the body. Mercury bioaccumultes in the flesh of plants and then animals and is not excreted from the body. It's not metabolized and therefore it can't be eliminated. This means that it ACCUMULATES in our bodies over time. The more contaminated fish we eat the more mercury we get in our bodies. Mercury is a heavy metal (ELEMENT) that interferes with the central nervouos system, brain and the nerves of the body.

The mercury found in the fish we eat in general comes from the buring of coal and the release of the smoke into the air at great heights above the ground. Some pre 1977 smoke stacks in Indiana are over 500ft tall and some may be about 1000 ft tall. Also the velocity of the air in the smoke stacks along with the heated air causes the plume of smoke to rise above the smoke stack for several thousand feet at times. Winds aloft can carry this smoke for hundreds of miles and smoke from the Midwest can effect the Smokey Mountains and Kill the forests and effect the trout in the streams and in the trout farms.

A lot has been done to control the sulfur in the coal and the particulates that are emitted when coal is burned but there is still a lot of smoke coming out of the stacks and being emitted into the ambient air that we all have to breath.

This year some of the smoke stacks have had Nitrogen Oxide controls added to them to help eliminate one of the precursors that forms ozone.

While we continue to add new controls on the smoke stacks the air pollution problems are being controlled more and more. But I am not aware of any specific controls that can take the mercury out of the smoke stack emissions.

Since we have been buring coal in the midwest for over 100 years now the amount of mercury that has been added to our environment (surface of the earth) has increased a great deal. It's this surface contamination that is effecting our lakes and steams and therefore the fish that we eat.

We have several choises. We can stop eating fish so that we are not contaminated. We can limit the amount of fish that we eat over our lifetime to try to reduce the amount of toxins that enter our bodies. We can also try to get those producing the toxins to stop putting them into the environment. The latter will cost money. We the rate payers will eventually decide on what we want to happen.

One thing to remember is that the mercury was not created by man but it was taken from deep in the earth when the coal was mined and brought back up to the surface. We can't destory the mercury but we could tie it up in a form that is not so harmful to mankind.

I personally am worried about eating the fish today. I am releasing the fish that I catch for the most part.

I started worrying about what was in the fish a long time ago. Back in 1983 I caught several large mouth bass out of Kentucky Lake that were deformed. These fish were really deformed with humped backs and funny looking lower jaws. There were 4lb largemouth bass and one 6lb fish. I would guess that these bass were several years old. I started wondering what could have caused them to be deformed. So I got out my maps and started tracing the origins of the Tennesse River that flows into Kentucky Lake. That river runs all the way back to Oakridge TN where they first did research on Atomic Bombs and nuclear energy. So I often wondered if any radiation has leaked into the river over the last 50 years and may be the cause of the deformed fish. While I am just guessing and have no data to back up my hunch I still wonder why the fish were so deformed. Something had to cause the fish to be so deformed.

Bottom line is that the more fish you eat that are contaminated with mercury or pcb the more of these toxins you will have building up in your body.

shores
06-18-2004, 10:42 AM
I was crappie fishing last weekend & caught two largemouth bass about a pound a piece. Both of the had strange back & belly deformities. Have caught a lot of bass & these are the only two I've ever seen shaped like this. Surely not some new breed or hybrid. I'm only 40 but have eaten a lot of fish all my life does'nt seem to have affected me except to increase my love of fishing. Wish there was more we all could do to decrease or even eliminate the trash & contaminates from out waters. Thanks for the information.

blindhog
06-19-2004, 05:59 PM
Eat the smaller fish, they will be younger with less contaminants.

Moose1am
06-20-2004, 12:08 PM
Eating smaller fish is a good idea. Also the way you clean the fish helps. Fileting the fish and cutting off the belly meat helps reduce contaminates.

Grilling the fish helps to drain any liquified fat away from the meat and that reduces the amount of PCB's. PCB's are stored in the body fat and anything that you can do to reduce the amount of fat is a good thing. That is why many people trim the fat off their meat. This works for beef, chicken, pork and fish.

I love fried fish but it's not the best way to cook the fish if you want to try to reduce the amount of PCB's that you consume.

I wish that I had more information and testing data on the different lakes and could recommend those that are less contaminated. It's a shame that we don't have that type of data readily available to the public.

Fish is such a good source of protein and other nutrients that it's a shame that is contaminated with things that are not good for us. The omega oils in fish good when they are natural and free of contaminates and they help reduce the risk of heart attacks.




Eat the smaller fish, they will be younger with less contaminants.

blindhog
06-20-2004, 02:55 PM
Yeah I always filet them too. But i do eat them fried.....nobody's gonna live forever!!