Fish

Whose Job Is It To Reduce Toxic Mercury In The Ohio River?

Feb 7, 2020
Anglers at the Falls of the Ohio State Park.
William Alden / Flickr

Mercury, which damages young brains, is flowing through industrial wastewater into the Ohio River. But the multi-state agency tasked with keeping the waterway clean hasn’t tightened controls on this pollution because it doesn’t have the authority to do so.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service / Flickr

Ohio anglers can fish for free this weekend.

Lake Erie Distillery Turns Booze Into Fish Food

Mar 2, 2018
Angelica A. Morrison / Great Lakes Today

Out on farmland in western New York, near the shore of Lake Erie, is Five & 20 Spirits And Brewing. Here, they make more than just booze – they also raise fish.

Alliance for the Great Lakes

Over the years, pollution has been seen as a big threat to fish in the Great Lakes. Now, a data scientist says that might not always be the case.

Tens of thousands of fish were killed off in the western Lake Erie basin earlier this year. Now the state of Ohio is holding three men responsible for the fish kills.

This month, I ventured to ask the man behind the counter at a Whole Foods Market what kind of shrimp he was selling. "I don't know," he replied. "I think they're just normal shrimp." I glanced at the sustainable seafood guide on my phone. There were 80 entries for shrimp, none of them listed "normal."

What about the cod? Was it Atlantic or Pacific? Atlantic. How was it caught? I asked. "I'm not sure," he said, looking doubtfully at a creamy fish slab. "With nets, I think. Not with harpoons."

For many pregnant women, understanding what seafood is safe and healthy, and what should be avoided because of mercury concerns comes with a lot of hand-wringing. In part, that's because the federal government's advice on the matter, first issued in 2004, has long been criticized as unclear.

That guidance has included advice on how much seafood to eat, and which species pregnant and nursing women should avoid over concerns about mercury contamination.

San Diego native Megan Olbur didn't grow up eating much seafood beyond tuna sandwiches, fish sticks or the occasional salmon dinners her parents made. But in 2015, when Olbur became pregnant with a daughter of her own, she heeded the advice of her physician and deliberately began adding more seafood to her diet as a way to boost brain development and to ensure the health of her growing baby.

It turns out, she wasn't alone in upping her fish fare.

Spring Melt May Turn Up Dead Fish In Ohio Ponds And Lakes

Mar 19, 2015
Flickr

Ohio Department of Natural Resources officials say that the long periods of heavy ice and snow cover over the winter may have resulted in fish kills in the state’s ponds and lakes.