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Is it safe to eat fish especially catfish from farm ponds that hold runoff from crop fields? I usually just buy some farm raised

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  • Is it safe to eat fish especially catfish from farm ponds that hold runoff from crop fields? I usually just buy some farm raised

    Is it safe to eat fish especially catfish from farm ponds that hold runoff from crop fields? I usually just buy some farm raised catfish at the gro store when I want fish. Tomorrow another story about my friend Otto K.

  • #2
    I guess it depends on how much insecticide runoff there is. I eat fish I catch in the Mississippi in the St. Louis area about twice a month. The information I have for that pool says not more than twice per week.


    • #3
      Is there an inexpensive way to test water quality/ pollutant levels?


      • #4
        I don't think it would be a good idea.


        • #5
          I would not eat fish from a farm pond that gets run off from treated crops. I have my aggriculteral restricted herbicide and pesticide license for farming. What I learned and know about the chemicals opened my eyes to some of the nasty stuff that is out there. It only takes a very minute amount of exposure to do damage to you being. I was talking to an inspector for the DNR and she said a farmer had a pin sized hole in a sump pump hose that he was using to pump water out of a local river. The pumped turned off the chemical mix in the tank started to back syphon. only a very little bit got into the river but the area was destroyed by the chemical and the farmer was fined $25,000. If I thought there was even the slightest risk of run off contamination I would not eat the fish. If you are not sure get the water tested by the county or the extension service.


          • #6
            jay now we know why your super man its from the chemicals in the fish you eat.
            i on the other hand just get mercury from the smoke stacks out west . by the way thanks for the acid rain thats killing my brook trout here guys thanks : (


            • #7
              Eat the smaller fish. Larger fish tend to absorb the chemicals.


              • #8
                I would do some reading on the farmed raised catfish as well. Some of those fish contain just as high contaminant levels as anywhere else. Everyone out there should read up on farm raised salmon. They add chemicals to make the flesh pink/orange ( make it look like wild caught), that chemical is known to cause ocular cancer among other things. Anytime you order "atlantic salmon" I can almost guarantee you are getting farm raised salmon. Just getting the water tested won't tell you everything you want to know as to whether the fish are safe to eat. Some compounds are not water soluble and are held in the soil. These compounds are taken up by plants, insects and then by the fish, or directly by the fish.


                • #9
                  Does the pond have large algae blooms? Where it goes in cycles of no algae -> tons of algae -> no algae -> tons of algae... and so on ?

                  This is a sure fire sign of fertilizer chemicals getting into the pond.


                  • #10
                    Sorry but i wouldnt eat it. the chemicals that are used to keep bugs off are not good for the human body. the fish meat is probly disgusting. But im sure a lil catch & release cant hurt.


                    • #11
                      In the 60's and 70's it probably wasn't a good idea to eat fish out of a pond with a great deal of run off. Those long chain chlorinated hydrocarbon insecticides were able to persist for long periods.

                      Farming is a business like any other. One doesn't waste resources like fertilizer and pesticide products by over use, quite frankly they cost too much money! Farmers have to figure how to use the least product they can to stay in business. They don't just go about spraying eveything in sight. There are rules concerning buffer zones, vegetated waterways, application intervals, wind drift, etc, which are referred to as best management practices. The farming community will adhere to these by and large.

                      Fertilizers are not typically problematic unless the pond receives a tremendous amount of surface run off, then the problem would be related to issues of heavy algal blooms or over growth of aquatic vegetation.

                      As far a fertilizers go, nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium are the same weather they come from manure, compost or a bag of fertilizer. These plant nutrients are only usable in the inorganic forms, in other words they must be in the form of a compound ( 2 or more chemical elements bound together) for a plant to be able to utilize them.

                      As for insecticides, fungicides and herbicides the application rates, timing intervals and cost of the products self limit the application. These products are also designed not to persist in the environment, they break down rapidly when exposed to heat, cold, sunlight, pH changes or even microbes.

                      Most moratoriums on consumption are based on the accumulation of heavy metals or mercury in the tissue of older fish. Heavy metals and mercury are not used in production agriculture.

                      In a farm pond with proper fertility planktontic populations will occlude visibility at a depth of 18 inches. What helps keep plankton at a productive level, fertilizer!

                      If the habitat looks healthy; in other words if there is no dead weeds of grass along waterways running into the pond. The water looks and smells healthy, fish are healthy with no sores or deformity and dead fish are not floating, I would eat the fish. Bon apatite!


                      Rabbit Police,

                      That same DNR EPD employee has been telling that same story for years and it keeps getting bigger!


                      • #12
                        Eat and enjoy.


                        • #13
                          Well that is interesting to know. You are also correct that farmers never wast anything, restricted or not. I also know all about the buffer zones and which chemicals they go with. Call me paranoid if you want but I have mixed the stuff and don't like it one bit. It only takes a little exposer to really mess you up.


                          • #14
                            Thanks Bee I suspected you would have the most informative answer to that one.


                            • #15
                              Beekeeper, I'm going to have to disagree with you. Though buffer zones and minimizing spray usage is a grand idea, it does not get implemented in most areas where I live. Farmers farm right up to the water edge (to the point where they drop tires in the ditch) and they over spray right into the ditch (you can tell by the dead grasses in the ditch channel). These ditches run right to ponds, streams, and rivers that all of us fish out of. I've grown up on a farm, and my grandfather and father have never mentioned limiting herbicide, insecticide, fertilizer for the good of the watershed. They spray it on and walk away. This is something that this generation needs to change- but thats for another conversation.
                              You're claim that if the habitat "looks good" and "no dead fish are floating" then go ahead and eat - is very misinformed. Those persistent compounds from the 60's and 70's are called persistent for a reason: They're still here, and will continue to be here for decades. Dioxins, Furans, PCB's, and all the metals you mentioned are a very real problem and the water or substrate doesn't have to stink or look bad in order for them to be there.
                              Most importantly- Women of childbearing age and children should not be risking eating considerable quantities of fish from impacted areas. Middle aged males, like myself can eat plenty of impacted fish without any issues, but much reduced amounts for children or pregnant women can have effects. I'm not saying that no fish is safe to eat, just saying that you need to do your homework on the areas you fish. There is a lot of good info out there.




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