Sunday, April 17, 2011

PCB and Mercury in Fish? Blah blah blah...

Living by Lake Michigan for years and even now lake Winnebago , the DNR has warnings put on the lake about PCB and mercury levels and want you to limit consumption of fish . The average person hearing this is even afraid to dip a toe in the lake in fear of some form of contamination. I 've talked to many people about it and ,after pulling a drag from their Marlboro said "I wouldn't eat such a thing". SO, I looked up some facts about fishing and what you go through in a day to get your  fish. Everyone has standard hazards they face every day and we need to keep the "Fish Scare "in perspective. Here in Wisconsin, a Friday night fish fry is tradition .

 So you want to go fishing ?
1.Get up early in the morning, before sunrise.
 The odds of getting out of bed, falling and suffering a fatal skull fracture  1 in 20,000

2.Showering ...Risk of dying in the bath tub  is 1 in 12,800

3. Shave.  the odds of injuring yourself while shaving seriously enough to require medical attention are 1 in 7,000

4. Going down stairs ...the stairs are considered the riskiest part of the house with some 2,000,000 Americans taking a serious fall each year

5. Breakfast  ...Household accidents are widespread and the kitchen is common location (small kitchen appliances and ovens account for almost 97,000 injury accidents each year according to U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission). If you eat a hearty breakfast (lifetime odds of choking to death = 1 in 1,087) that includes eggs, bacon, sausage, toast, hot cakes, syrup and coffee. There are health risks associated with many foods. This includes the risks related to heart disease, cholesterol, high blood pressure and many others (according to the Center for Disease Control, heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States, accounting for more than 2,000,000 fatalities annually).

6. Drive to the Lake.  Car crashes killed 33,808 in 2009 down a whopping 10 percent!
   1.4 million accidents in the U.S. per year.

7. Lets Fish ... How about Wading a trout stream and falling..Falls kill some 15,000 Americans per year. Another 3,500 die in submersion drownings -- National Safety Council

8. Lunch anyone? 
                             odds of death from eating peanut butter are 1 in 3,300
9. The After Lunch Smoke.... 
based on research from the American Cancer Society, each year smoking, claims more than 400,000 lives in the US

 I bet you never knew  fishing was so dangerous. Ok,  so you say I'm no expert on PCB or Mercury levels and I'll agree with that but neither are some of the people pushing these laws and regulations.Should I be happy that someone is looking over my shoulder and protecting me from all of life's hazards?.Maybe .  What I am an expert at is perspective.If we don't keep things in life in perspective we often loose sight of whats really important . If you have never shared some smoked salmon or a piece of deep fried walleye with family or friends you really missing something.My advise to you , go fish and don't be afraid to eat your catch.
Photo and story
by John McArdle
All rights reserved 2011


  1. Well John, I don't disagree with you. But for those faint of heart who feel that they are better off just staying in bed and not facing all those risks, 1 in 200 die in bed from a wide variety of causes. From natural death to homicide to the headboard falling and crushing you. No one is getting out alive.

  2. If born alive, death is guranteed. We fish the Spokane River but C & R only as the advisory is against eating some species and only limited amounts per month on others.

  3. if we aren't scared enough...I'll take my chances with a little walleye or perch shore lunch any day.

  4. I think we are all goin' up around the bend some day. I'll take my chances and enjoy eating a few fish now and then.