Is it safe to eat perch fish from Lake Erie?

In this brief guide, we will discuss the question, “is it safe to eat perch fish from Lake Erie?”. As well, we will discuss what is a perch fish, where Lake Erie is, why fish are toxic in the summer, and other concerns about perch fish from Lake Erie.  

Is it safe to eat perch fish from Lake Erie?

Yes, it is safe to eat perch fish from Lake Erie, but it depends on the season that you fish and the place of Lake Erie. There are reports claiming that Lake Erie becomes toxic every summer because of the amount of algae-like cyanobacteria.

What is a perch fish?

Perch is a gamefish that belongs to the genus Perca and to the family Percidae. These vertebrate fish live in freshwater. In North America, it is common to find the Perca fluviatilis. Perch fish live in water that contains smaller fish or insect larvae because they are carnivorous.  

Where is Lake Erie?

Lake Erie is located in North America and is considered the eleventh-largest lake in the world. Lake Erie is positioned in the middle of the United States and Canada. Below you will find some curiosities about Lake Erie.

  • Occupies the fourth position of the largest lake among the five Great Lakes in North America;
  • Cleveland, in the U.S., is the biggest city on the Lake Erie;
  • It is 174 meters (571 feet) above the sea position;
  • It is the shallowest of the 5 Great Lakes of North America;
  • It is the warmest of the 5 Great Lakes of North America;
  • It is responsible for supplying drinking water for more or less than 12 million people in Canada and the U.S. 

Why can fish be toxic in the summer?

According to The World, Lake Eries becomes toxic every summer and this fact is related to climate changes that are making the water warmer, which results in more algae-like cyanobacteria.

What are algae-like cyanobacteria?

Algae-like cyanobacteria are natural in this environment and are also known as red tide. The algae-like cyanobacteria grow fast in the presence of phosphorus or other nutrients present in the lake, these nutrients can be found in commercial fertilizer that is discarded. 

Why are the algae-like cyanobacteria toxic?

Algae-like cyanobacteria produce powerful and dangerous cyanotoxins that can poison people and may kill domestic animals, like dogs and cats. To know more about it, click here.

How can algae-like cyanobacteria contaminate fish?  

If there are big blooms of algae-like cyanobacteria, the environment will contain a lot of cyanotoxins, which can contaminate all the living beings present in that area, including the fishes.

How can I know if the area contains algae-like cyanobacteria? 

The bloom can be anywhere. You can identify a colorful covering of the water, but sometimes, the algae can be under the surface of the lake. So, it’s recommended to avoid fishing in the summer. 

What can the symptoms be if I eat a contaminated fish with cyanobacteria? 

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), people or animals can be sick when exposed to cyanotoxins. If you feel sick, it’s better to go to the hospital and tell them that you eat fish from Lake Erie. Below are listed some symptoms.

  • General symptoms;
  • Headache;
  • Stomach pain;
  • Diarrhea;
  • Vomiting;
  • Muscle debilitated;
  • Dizziness.

What are the nutrients of fish?

The fish contains a low-fat value source of high-quality protein. Serve as the font of omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins (D and B2-riboflavin), and minerals, mainly calcium and phosphorus, but also contain iron, iodine, zinc, potassium, and magnesium. 

What are the health benefits of perch fish?

The omega-3 fatty acids can be found just in fish, this nutrient is not produced by our organism. Below are some other health benefits of this nutrient. 

  • Nutrients of fish can assist in lowering blood pressure and decreasing the chance of stroke or heart attack, but also helps to maintain the brain healthy;
  • Can lower the chance of ADHD, depression, dementia, Alzheimer’s, and diabetes;
  • Can avoid inflammation and lower the chance of arthritis; 
  • Help the infant grow vision and nerves as the fetus is developing inside the mother. 

What is a recipe for perch fish?

Perch fish are very tasty and you can cook them in different ways. If you click here, you will check a complete recipe for brown butter perch. 

Conclusion 

In this brief guide, we have discussed the question, “is it safe to eat perch fish from Lake Erie?”. As well, we have discussed what is a perch fish, where Lake Erie is, why fish are toxic in the summer, and other concerns about perch fish from Lake Erie.  

References

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fish Accessed: 05/03/2022

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Perch Accessed: 05/03/2022

https://doh.wa.gov/community-and-environment/food/fish/health-benefits Accessed: 05/03/2022

https://www.cdc.gov/habs/be-aware-habs.html Accessed: 05/03/2022

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lake_Erie Accessed: 05/03/2022

https://theworld.org/stories/2020-01-23/lake-erie-turns-toxic-every-summer-officials-aren-t-cracking-down-source Accessed: 05/03/2022

https://www.epa.gov/greatlakes/lake-erie Accessed: 05/03/2022

Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.