View Full Version : Mercury contaminations of fish...

05-05-2014, 06:20 AM
This has been my concern in catching and eating holdover or wild trout in the Mother Lode lakes, streams and rivers. From the history of California, gold mining has been the in-thing, and with gold mining, the heavy use of mercury to extract the gold. And long ago, no EPA for environmental regulations, no EIR, no water pollution control, and practically anything goes in the Wild, Wild, West of yesteryears.

Problem with mercury is that it can become persistent in the ecosystem once introduced. Has anyone of you encountered scientific articles or studies about the past mercury contamination and how bad is the current residual contamination in these bodies of water and how does it affect the contents of the holdover or wild fish species?

05-05-2014, 07:18 AM
Here's an excellent studies and article compilation by USGS about Mercury contamination and how it affects streams and reservoirs of California as a result of gold mining activities in the past:


The only problem is that the article was published 14 years ago today.

05-05-2014, 07:59 AM
DFW (Formerly the DFG) generally posts up dietary restrictions regarding mercury intake. Bass, being the apex predator in most waterways, seem to get the lions share of the warnings. Generally speaking trout and panfishes seem to get the least.

05-05-2014, 09:34 PM
I know for a fact that Lake Natomas is a no no for eating any kind of fish. If I remember correctly, the health advisory warning varies from regions to regions. Areas that use to be huge in gold mining tend to accumulate a much higher amount of mercury than other areas that didn't. But then again, you would have to eat a TON of fish to accumulate enough mercury to show any signs of effects in the first place. The "average" American 15.8lbs of fish a year according to the NOAA. That's approximately 13 lbs less than that of Europeans and Asians. Overall, a lot of Americans don't really eat "caught" fish from line to table. Hence you ain't gotta worry unless you eat nothing but fish everyday, 7 days a week, 3 times a day, then there would be a problem. But if not, there's nothing to worry about. We would like to think that every American ate "caught" fish, but most fish consumed in the US comes in forms of "processed" or already made into an unrecognizable shape or form just labeled as fish for consumers.
Tsshhhh... A buddy of mine is a UC Davis grad student in fishery biology. He drives me INSANE with fish facts and aquaculture and I thought I was a fish fanatic; he's a fish psycho!:excited:

05-05-2014, 09:46 PM
Guess I will die from poising I eat fish just about every day and some days twice a day. I will believe it when I'm dead and gone. And I take 3 fish tabs a day a walking mercury tank :)

Sent from my DROID BIONIC using Tapatalk

05-06-2014, 06:00 AM
Well, there is one lake where no Gold mining was done but the entire water ecosystem has an unusually high amount of mercury. It is Clear Lake, the wall to wall catfish capital, so they say.

Clear Lake is the mouth of an old volcano and it spews out minerals that is high in borax and mercury. These are natural emissions coming from under the earth, and if we were to follow the rules of organic farming, these are considered organic, because they are not synthesized in a factory.

Even though Clear Lake area is at high elevation and receive occasional snow showers, the water can remain warm in portions near Soda Bay because there is an underwater hot springs where huge catfish take refuge near and around that area during the coldest months of the year.

05-06-2014, 06:09 AM
... But then again, you would have to eat a TON of fish to accumulate enough mercury to show any signs of effects in the first place. ...

If you eat the same amount of meat in cheese burgers from McDonald, Burger King, or other fast food chains, you would die of heart and related diseases way earlier than when you have eaten the same amount with mercury contaminated fish.

It is basically choosing which poison you want to die from. At least with fish, you will die much later, and enjoy your life much longer while fishing than living a shorter life with pesticide fattened, anti-biotic laced, hormone injected, or GMO meat. Regardless, I enjoy occasional splurge of steak and hamburgers mad cow warnings ignored, but eat more fish most of the time. No one lives forever as of yet anyway.