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Thread: Mercury in our crappie?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Shreveport, LA
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    Default Mercury in our crappie?

    Hey guys just wondering what yall know about mercury poisoning in our favorite species of fish?

    I have many times encountered consumption advisories for one species in a lake where other species in the lake are not regulated. Usually it is an advisory on Bass but sometimes on other species like catfish, bowfin, and freshwater drum (Goo).

    I have never seen a consumption advisory for mercury in Crappie. I would like to hope this is something to do with their anatomy that does not store as much heavy metal. But from what I learned in biology any contaminates would only compound as they go up the food chain and the crappie sits at about the level of the food chain as the bass...

    Anyways sure would like to keep eating my crappies and not go crazy... but if itís a choice between the two just call me the MAD HATTER!

    ~Fishin' Magician~

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
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    OK if Bass eat Minnows that contain mercury then any other fish that eats those same minnows will also contain mercury in them. It's that simple. Common sense tells you that crappie which feed almost exclusively on similar prey as all the other game fish will also contain methyl mercury.

    Bass do take a while to get to a legal size and the older a fish it the longer it's had to absorb more mercury. Larger older fish should by this logic contain more mercury than smaller and younger fish.

    Healthwise then it would be better to eat the smaller fish that contain less mercury in their flesh. Bigger fish will have consumed lots more toxic minnows and will therefore have more mercury in them.

    To try to eliminate more mecury we can easily prepare the fish to help remove more mecury. Skin your fish and cut the fat off them. Fat is where the pesticides are stored as most pesticides are fat soluable. Mercury is stored in the fish flesh and bones. So by fillet the fish we can eliminate more mercury. Also the way we cook the fish can either remove more mercury or concentrate it. If you grill the fish the fat will drip out of the fish and take a lot of the poisons away that were stored inside the fat. Baking where the fat can fall away from the fish is another good way to prepare the fish to ride if of these toxins hopefull.

    It would be much easier to keep the mercury from entering the food chain in the first place. Mercury the element occurs natrually in the enviroment and so does Uranium and lead but none of these elements are good for you if they get taken into your body. The solution to pollution is dillution but unfortuanaley the smoke stacks that emit the mercury only help to put the mecury in the air where it falls back down to earth around the smoke stack and then it gets washed into the lakes and streams. There is is taken in by micro-organisms that concentate it in their little bodies. Bigger insects and minnows eat these micro-organisms and further concentrate the merucry in their bodies. Bigger fish eat the smaller fish and further concentrate the mercury again. Then we come along and eat the biggest fish and we get all the mercury inside our bodies.

    What needs to be done is to stop the mercury from coming out of the smoke stacks so that the mercury is not being put back into our lakes and streams over and over again.

    But I fear that as long as we need to burn coal for producing power (electricity) we will have to eat mercury contaminated fish. I see no other way to prevent it right now that is economically feasible. It cost a lot of money to take the mercury and other bad stuff out of the coal and to do that will add to the already high costs of power.

    It's too bad that we can Chelate the mercury and other toxins out of the fish before we consume it. Some chemicals can remove the toxins by chemically bonding to the pollutants and letting the body excrete the toxins. These chemicals are called Chelating agents. Now in a chemistry lab we use these Chelating agents to help remove contaminats from a sample so that we can analyze the sample for certain compounds or elements.

    If you keep fish in an aquarium you may know that certain water treatment powders will chelate chemcials in the water and make them less poisonous to your tropical fish.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Bowling Green, Ky
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    Gosh Moose, you need your own website called, "Ask moose". Outstanding information on fish.

    I've heard that eating fish in moderation would not be a problem. Hope that's the case. Just makes you wonder what our children and grandchildren will have to worry about.

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