Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Sports

July 14, 2013

Advisories not meant to discourage fishing

Kids Fishing Clinic kicks off Monday.

Eating recreationally caught fish from local waters can be a healthy and tasty activity. Over the past several weeks, I have enjoyed grilled walleye, broiled bluegills and fried crappies. They were all succulent, to say the least. Even more enjoyable was the fact all these fish came from Howard County.

Even though volumes of information have been printed and passed along detailing those areas where fish are safe or unsafe to eat, confusion still exists. Each year, Indiana’s fish consumption advisories receive more attention. Unfortunately, some of the information that gets passed along becomes less than accurate.

First off, don’t think these advisories are meant to discourage fishing — in fact, it’s quite the opposite. They are meant to maximize the benefits and minimize the risk of eating wild caught Indiana fish. There are basically two contaminants that drive our fish consumption advisories. They are mercury and polychlorinated biphenyls, often called PCBs. Both are contained naturally in our environment, at low levels, where they pose no risk. The problem with tainted fish is because of lingering pollutants. Due to past industrial discharges, they have been pushed to higher levels in some of our waterways where they can accumulate in fish. The risk of consuming contaminated fish accumulates over time and can build in the human body, just like it does in fish.

Most don’t realize our consumption advisories are based on the principle that people are consuming 8 ounces of fish for 225 days a year over a 70-year period. I doubt anyone eats that much Indiana fish, but the state would rather be on the safe side, a viewpoint with which I agree. A determination can then be made, based on the contaminants found in tested fish, as to how frequently they should be eaten.

Our state’s advisories are divided into five groups. Group one is unlimited consumption. Group two is one meal per week. Group three is one meal per month. Group four is one meal every two months. Group five is do not eat. These groupings are a little more stringent for the more "sensitive population” which includes women of childbearing years, nursing mothers and children under the age of 15. The bottom line is: Do not stop eating locally caught fish. Yes, there are areas high in contaminants, like a major portion of our Wildcat and Kokomo creeks where fish should not be eaten. But there are still plenty of places where they are safe to consume. To set the record straight, the portion of Wildcat Creek where fish should not be consumed (Group 5) begins at the lowhead dam, located several hundred yards west of U.S 31., continuing all the way to the creek’s confluence with the Wabash River in Tippecanoe County. The dam can be seen when looking north from the Carter Street Bridge. From that same dam upstream, which includes the Kokomo Reservoir; fish are safe to dine on. As for Kokomo Creek, fish can be eaten when caught east of U.S. 31. Besides being delicious, fish are a great source of protein. Anglers and their families can further reduce exposure to fish-borne toxins by eating only the species and size of fish recommended for particular waterways. Panfish, like bluegills and crappies, will not contain contaminates like a large catfish. Properly preparing those fish can also remove some pollutants. As for those waters where it is recommended no fish be consumed, there is no reason we cannot still operate under a “catch, release and have fun” philosophy.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Sports
  • SPL - KT082114 Brett Bowman column-pic Smackdown gets rolling tonight The three biggest nights of the USAC Amsoil National Sprint Car Series’ season kick off tonight and conclude Saturday night with the third-running of the Stoops’ Freightliner Sprint Car Smackdown at the Kokomo Speedway.The event is rapidly gaining mo

    August 21, 2014 2 Photos

  • Kokomo tennis 04 Prep roundup for Thursday, Aug. 21: Kokomo tennis tops Alex Kokomo’s boys tennis team topped Alexandria 4-1 on the Wildkat courts on Wednesday to even the Kats’ record at 1-1.The No. 1 doubles team of Blake Brookshire and Joey Hurlocker won 6-2, 6-4 and were the first point off the court for the Kats. The No.

    August 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Taylor fball practice 01 Titans adjusting on the fly to new coach When Taylor found itself without a football coach after the sudden departure of Eric Davis in the first week of preseason practice, the school turned to one person who couldn’t say no, no matter how difficult the situation.Long-time girls basketball

    August 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • EHSvsPeruFB 19 Peru looks to take another step in the right direction The Peru football team posted a 4-6 record last year, which marked the Bengal Tigers’ best showing since the 2000 team went 7-5.Peru coach Bob Prescott would like to build on its 2013 success.“We are trying to improve every day, and taking it one day

    August 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Jenkins card Greatest Save brings Major Leaguers to Kokomo Community First Bank Executive Vice President Bob Hickman saw first hand the great benefits and excitement the Greatest Save program brought to the community of Evansville the last two years. He watched as Major League Baseball legends like Rollie Fi

    August 21, 2014 3 Photos

  • Age no opponent for some of NFL's veteran stars NEW YORK (AP) — There's something stunning happening on Michael Vick's head. You can't see them from far away, but up close, tiny gray hairs are starting to emerge — color-sapped reminders that the New York Jets quarterback is no longer the speedy y

    August 20, 2014

  • SPL - KT082014 - Western football preview - pic FOOTBALL: Western preview Western's football team ran the ball on 575 of its 634 offensive plays last season. Three players combined to account for 424 of the rushing attempts. Expect a much different look from the Panthers under new coach Ronnie Jankovich.

    August 20, 2014 2 Photos

  • SPL - KT082014 - Cass football preview - mug FOOTBALL: Cass preview Lewis Cass may lack experience entering this season, but not moxie. The Kings return just a handful of starters from last year’s team that finished 5-5, one of the few teams in recent program history that did not win more games than it lost.

    August 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • SPL - KT082014 - County boys XC preview - pic BOYS CROSS COUNTRY: Howard County preview Western's boys cross country team is ready to chase after more championship hardware. The Panthers are four-time defending Mid-Indiana Conference champions and two-time defending Logansport Sectional winners.

    August 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Prep roundup for Wednesday, Aug. 20 Taylor's boys soccer team got its season off to a flying start with a 5-1 victory over Western on Tuesday night, highlighted by a hat trick from Hunter Stephens. It marked the first time the Titans had beaten the Panthers in Mike Shane's tenure as coach.

    August 20, 2014