A Surprising Catch
July 18, 2007
Today’s catch: a fat 16″ Brown Trout (top), a decent 14″ Rainbow Trout (middle) and a little Yellow Perch (guess).
I pulled these from the Lacamas Lake today. Unfortunately I think these three are headed for the cats and Doug (the raccoon). I feel a little guilty about not eating these, but honestly, the fish seemed unhealthy.
I accidently poked my finger through the Brown while gutting it. …I’ve never done that before, and I’ve cleaned my share of trout. I realize warmer water makes meat a little less firm, but this was ridiculous.
It bothered me enough to do a quick Google. Turns out Lacamas has dangerous mercury levels. …How did it get there? Dust from construction sites carries mercury into water where it’s absorbed by tiny aquatic organisms. Bacteria in the water changes into a form called methylmercury, which is absorbed by tiny aquatic organisms. Small things eat the bacteria, bigger things eat those things, and so on. The mercury binds to the protein in muscles. When a small fish is eaten by a bigger fish the mercury just moves into the bigger fish’s muscles. …The fish’s mercury level rises with each meal. What a pleasant thought. *pukes*
But wait, it gets worse! Apparently mercury affects the way your nerves operate. Specially your neruotransmitters’ like dopamine, serotonin, acetyicholine, and norepinephrine. Mercury is especially harmful for younger people; the unborn are at the highest risk.
This was a little alarming. I ate more than a few fish from Lacamas as a kid. …Most the kids that grew up around here did the same. The fish seemed healthy, and they probably were much healthier then, but…Wow that would explain a lot!
Well, that’s it for now. Hopefully I’ll catch some healthy fish soon. I don’t have any profound ideas on how to resolve this mercury problem. …But I think putting up a sign at the lake would be a good idea.