University City

Tests results show some fish from Lake Norman safe to eat

According to David Caldwell of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Storm Water Services, test results indicate that at least six species of fish in Lake Norman are safe for consumption. Below is the summary he provided.

"This past July 2011 the N.C. Division of Water Quality and the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Storm Water Services conducted a joint project on Lake Norman to analyze various fish species for the presence of mercury, arsenic, selenium, and polychlorinated biphenyls.

"Division of Water Quality and Charlotte-Mecklenburg Storm Water Services collected samples of six commonly harvested fish in the lower portion of Lake Norman. The species collected and tested were channel catfish, blue catfish, flathead catfish, spotted bass, white perch, and black crappie. The lab results for all species tested showed that the contaminant levels were within acceptable ranges and considered safe by the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services."

This is great news for Lake Norman because there are currently 2,242 fish advisories in 41 states for mercury and 679 advisories in 37 states for PCBs. Small amounts of PCBs and mercury were detected in all samples, which is consistent with data throughout the country.

It is important to note, however, that there is a statewide consumption advisory for largemouth bass due to mercury contamination. This advisory was issued in 2008 by the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services due to widespread contamination throughout the state.

For more information regarding this advisory and others in North Carolina, see the N.C. DHHS website at epi.publichealth.nc.gov/fish/.

For more information regarding the Division of Water Quality and Storm Water Services project on Lake Norman, contact David Caldwell at 704-336-5452, David.Caldwell@Mecklenburgcountync.gov or Jeff DeBerardinis at 919-743-8473 or Jeff.DeBerardinis@ncdenr.gov .

Upcoming events

Free safe boating class: "How to Navigate Lake Norman Day or Night" will be held from 6:30 to 8 p.m. March 14 at North Point Watersports, Exit 36, Mooresville. Topics for discussion will include understanding LKN's channel marker and buoy system, identifying and learning how to avoid the 10 most dangerous spots and interpreting lake maps. For more information, call me at 704-617-6812 or email Gus@LakeNoman.com. Free Fishing Seminar: "Bass Fishing for The Occasional Angler" will be presented from 6:30 to 8 p.m. March 21 at Gander Mountain, Exit 36. Bring the family to this event. I will discuss how to catch limits of largemouth and spotted bass by trolling, drifting and "still" fishing with live baits and artificial lures. A free detailed list of LKN's top 10 bass spots will be given to those who attend. Contact 704-658-0822 for more information. Boater Safety Class: The Lake Norman Sail & Power Squadron's next boater safety class will be at 8 a.m. March, 24 at the Huntersville United Methodist Church, 14005 Stumptown Road. The fee is $45. Register at www.usps.org/lakenorman or by calling Bob Yannacci at 704-660-5568.

Tips from Gus

With gas prices on the rise, here we go again. To help ease the pain, consider these gas-saving ideas.

Don't let the motor idle when anchored or tied at a dock.

Rebuild or replace a boat propeller that is bent, nicked or chipped.

Reduce boat weight by removing all nonessential gear.

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