Mercury In Our Water

The Bigger The Fish The More Mercury It Could Contain

Superior, Wis.

Air pollution leads to mercury and that ends ups contaminating the natural resources right here including our lakes and rivers, even the fish that live in those water sources.

According to one UMD professor, Minnesota has some of the highest levels of mercury in the region. Should this cause any concern for anglers gearing up for the fishing season?

At this point in time it’s not necessarily a rising concern but a concern that needs to be monitored. The majority of the mercury found in the lakes and rivers around the twin ports is the result of emissions from coal combustion, mining, and other human sources.

Professor Nate Johnson UMD recently studied the waters around the area and says that the mercury levels in Minnesota are some of the highest in the region.

“There are elevated levels of mercury in fish in Minnesota relative to other places in the country and above those believed to cause adverse impacts in people above threshold set by the state and federal management agencies,” says Nate Johnson, UMD Professor.

Some but not all of the mercury found in these types of test originate from other place across the globe making this issue not just a twin ports issue, but a global issue.

“Most mercury that falls in Minnesota or falls in Minnesota waters comes from outside the state. Really outside the country mercury is a global pollutant that can be emitted really anywhere around the word and blow around and come out in rain water,” says Johnson.

Statewide safe eating guidelines are based on mercury and PCB levels measured in fish throughout Minnesota and on levels of mercury found in commercial fish.

They also say the bigger and older your fish are. The more mercury they might contain. We also want to note that here in Minnesota and Wisconsin. We have more lakes and rivers than most states, so we would have more resources. Therefore being able to monitor the situation more closely and that’s why we even know about it in the first place.

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