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Carp-fisher

Don't eat any fish out of Cass Lake?

15 posts in this topic

I listened to a segment on MPR on water quality issues in Minnesota this morning. The guest was a director of the University of Minnesota's Water Resources Center...I think it was either Sleeper or Swackhammer. Anyways, a person called into the show and asked about the dioxin contamination in Cass Lake and about the consequent fish consumption advisories pertaining to whitefish. Dioxins can cause cancer in humans and whitefish in Cass Lake are known to have high levels in their flesh. The U of M person said that nobody should be eating any amount of any species of fish from Cass Lake or Pike Bay. I was taken back to hear this. Anyone know anything about this?

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It was Swackhammer, Deb Swackhammer.

The effects of eating these dioxin contaminated fish are not completely known, but they are definitely not good for you. The stuff accumulates so if the whitefish have it, everything up the food chain does too. Just because the DNR hasn't said don't eat anything from that lake or because your uncle Joe has been eating fish from there for 25 years and he is still OK, doesn't necessarily mean anybody should be eating fish from there.

I wouldn't feed my dog fish from that lake. Especially when there are 9999 other lakes to get my table fare from.

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If her thoughts on the issue of fish consumption from Cass are correct, its just deeply disturbing...a big beautiful lake full of walleyes that can possibly cause cancer...such a shame...

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Do we know the specific origins of the high dioxin concentrations? I fish lakes half an hour from Cass. Have been for almost 30 years. Not to mention all the fish I've eaten from those lakes.

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I know some of the history behind this. It wasn't illegal dumping - most of the contamination occurred in the 50's and 60's before they were aware of the dangers of the chemicals.

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Dioxin has contaminated the soil and groundwater at an old wood treatment plant in Cass Lake. It's been an EPA superfund site since the mid 80s.

Google "St. Regis Superfund Site"

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I listened to the same radio show on MPR, and a caller called up and corrected her saying that it was not Cass but Pike bay that you shouldn't eat as many fish a month from. She thanked him for the correction. Cass is Ok as long as you don't eat more then one meal a week from it, is what the DNR fish Adv, says. wink

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How can that be, with Pike Bay and Cass connected by such a short channel? Wouldn't one assume the Dioxin filters through the whole watershed?

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That's what I thought also? This guy that called in was from the Cass area, and was really trying to let her know how much the tourism dollars are counted on up there and he wanted her to know what kind of impact her statement would make.

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That's what I thought also? This guy that called in was from the Cass area, and was really trying to let her know how much the tourism dollars are counted on up there and he wanted her to know what kind of impact her statement would make.

Ah, damage control vs reality. I see where the caller is coming from. Don't tell the truth if it keeps a few pregnant women and their babies healthy but hurts tourism overall. winkwink

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I think it is partly due to groundwater flow and whatnot. You won't catch me eating anything out of any lake in the vicinity of that place.

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I feel for a town that relies on the tourism dollar and to have this happen to their lake. But you can't promote a lake with this type of problem, even if it means the future of the town IMO. Hopefully there are other lakes in that area that are safe.

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