View Full Version : Healthiest California freshwater fish to eat?

11-08-2006, 04:49 PM
What are the healthiest California freshwater fish to eat, given heavy metal contamination, pollution, etc.?

11-08-2006, 05:13 PM
Freshly planted rainbows. You can also buy them at the super market. ;)

11-08-2006, 05:40 PM
Freshly planted rainbows. You can also buy them at the super market ;) That's not funny Doc, it may be true but not funny ::) I think the waters of Tahoe, Donner, Hell Hole, are quite pristen, fish just seem to taste better from those lakes Westesq, I'm sure there are other "clean" waters out there but maybe other sniffers will chime in and start a list of what they think.

11-09-2006, 08:38 AM
Hey, I got a serious question. Isn't the majority (almost all) of the metals in fish stored in the little fatty layer between the skin and meat (besides what may be in the intestines)?

I am also lead to believe that the fish caught in the high country is okay.

LOL @ Doc....that was funny. ;D


11-09-2006, 09:13 AM
Most of the hydrophobic (water hating, fat loving) organic toxins like PCB's do accumulate in the fatty tissue. Skinning fish and removing the dark meat gets rid of a lot of the toxins in fish, but not all.

Metals on the other hand form associations with proteins in the organs and muscles. So skinning fish doesn't do much for reducing these toxins.

The amount of heavy metals in fish taken from high elevations is hard to predict. Any body of water with up stream hot springs or a history of mining is suspect. Mercury is also transported through the air. So weather and precipitation patterns in the high country can result in some high country lakes with some level of contamination.

But I wouldn't really worry much about eating fish from the high country except where there are specific health advisories in the fishing regs.

11-09-2006, 10:03 AM
Do be carefull tho'... East Lake in Eastern Oregon has advisories on it's larger trout for mercury. It comes into the lake from active hydrothermal vents- no mining history. Special case, to be sure, but read up before you go... I would think twice before eating fish, say, every day for a week, from the same lake with tons of gold mines upgradient from it.

11-09-2006, 11:49 AM
Grerat info! :)

I had no idea that mercury was transported via the air. That's amazing to me. I also didn't know about hot springs. I thought it was due to mining thus the concern about Mother Lode lakes, etc. We pack with llamas and take several trips throughout the summer into the high country to get a belly full of fish.


11-09-2006, 01:58 PM
had no idea that mercury was transported via the air.

Oh yeah... It's a liquid at room temperature, so if you heat it up it... *Evaporates.

Burning coal (and other fossil fuels, but mostly coal) for power is the #1 source of mercury in the atmosphere (which is why pelagic fish in the ocean are becoming contaminated), and #2 is the primitive gold mining they do in Brazil (and other places) where they soak ore in recovered mercury- taken out of various appliances and so forth in the 1st world and shipped off to the 3rd world- and then just throw it in the fire... Now we all get a little bit more mercury in our food.

Back before mercury was really considered a pollutant, and was harder to come by, it was reused in the mining process. *Add mercury to pwder gold (it forms an amalgam), then cook the amalgam in a primitive still- you are left with gold and collected the mercury as it condensed back into liquid. *Pretty slick- right up until you are done mining. *Then what so you do with it?- Throw it wherever was the answer in the late-1800's in California... *Unfortunately.

11-09-2006, 05:50 PM
Do you think there should be a Snifer guideline / forum on healthy fish harvesting?

Coupled with best catch-photograph-release species and locations?

11-10-2006, 01:04 PM
How about Pardee? Amador?

DFG gives the green light to sea-run critters like salmon and steelhead.

What the heck are the Asiatic or Asian freshwater clams referenced in the DFG regs, and are they edible?

11-11-2006, 04:17 PM
Unless you hear otherwise, the fish in both lakes you mention are "safe"... Trout and salmon tend to be "safer" than other species due to their short lifespans and spending relatively short times in those spans at the top of the food chain. There can be exceptions, but they are usually OK. Limited opportunity to bioaccumulate mercury and other toxins.

Fish to be worried about, generally:

Long-lived, top-of-the-foodchain predators.

11-13-2006, 06:26 PM
(comment erased)

...sorry, I misunderstood what someone said, carry on...

11-13-2006, 07:10 PM
Healthiest: GRAYLING

11-16-2006, 07:47 PM
Eat a variety of fish species from different places in moderation. Like everything else that is consumable in the world.
This might help abit, its more ocean but something to look at since sturgeon and stripers and trout are on the list.


12-08-2006, 06:55 AM
Healthiest: GRAYLING

If you are mauled by a bear fishing for them, are they still the healthiest? ;)