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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Can't disclose where I heard this, but though I'd pass it along. Also would like to get your responses on this particular issue.

I've been fishing and eating the walleyes out of the Tittabawassee River since I started fishing it in 1984. Back on that particular opening day back then, I seen a total of 5 other boats all day long on the river. So you can judge how long ago that was. This fishery (even though historical) was brand new for anybody born after the late 1940's. The walleye restoration on the Bay was working and they were starting once again to run up all the rivers they used before they were wiped out in the 1930 and 40's. But, instead of me writing a lovely book here about the walleye recovery, I'll simply ask the question. Do you guys eat the fish out of the Tittabawassee?

As stated, I do and have for about 20 years now. And I must say, I've never had a funky tasting walleye and I'd describe my health and body type as slightly overly healthy. :rolleyes:

I've heard because of the recent law suits from land owners along the river, the EPA and the DEQ, that new signs are to be posted along the river warning people to never eat fish from the Tittabawassee. I've personally read the test data that the EPA and DEQ have gathered, and find it somewhat vague and lacking in any real scientific danger to anything larger than a 2 pound river otters offspring. Of course I'm not a scientist. But have spent thousands of hours on the Titt. these last 20 years and have observed the many changes the river has went through.

I've personally only seen positive changes in and around the river environment, and from the Dow Chemical Company itself. Maybe I'm bias, and I'm not looking to start a fight between people who think otherwise. But if you had to judge the river and what you've seen in all the time you've fished it, what would your assessment be?
 

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Have in the past but not anymore. Theres gonna have to be some real good data suggesting that eating the fish from that river is ok. Now it sounds as if your constantly catching fish, have you caught any with those walleyes with those narly warts covering the fish's entire body. Those are the ones that have ruined my appetite for any consumption from the river. I won't even give fish to my neighbors anymore.

Grizzly
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Griz.

The one thing I always do, with either charter clients or just people who ask, I tell them both my own history of eating them and tell them about the State warnings concerning all Great Lakes fish. I neither encourage or discourage anybody who wants to take some home or throw them all back. In fact, I'll often take a couple home if needed, if the clients don't want any.

And when these new signs come out, I'll be up front again about what I think and know about the data used to make these assumptions.

Now, these warts your talking about Griz, is a virus that the fish get around the spawning time the most. It's a common virus that can just as likely appear on fish in Canadian slave lakes as the fish in the Tittabawassee. Even though visably grotesque, these warts are only on top of the skin and never penetrate into the flesh below. The DNR has a fact sheet on this virus posted on their web site. I'll try and find it and post it for your own satisfaction Griz.

Griz. This is taken off the DNR fact sheet.

It is not unusual for anglers to catch walleye with pink, whitish, or yellowish wart-like growths on their bodies and fins. These are caused by fish viruses, the most common of which is called lymphocystis. This is primarily a skin disease, and the flesh is usually not affected. Lymphocystis is harmless to humans and affected fish are safe to eat. Skinning the fish usually removes all diseased tissue. If a legal size fish is heavily affected and appears aesthetically unpleasing, it should be kept for disposal because a fish that is released will only spread more virus.
 

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The EPA started a limit of detection on pesticides and herbicides way back when DDT was being used. At that time the equipment and techniques being used could detect one part of pesticide to 100 parts of sample, something like one ounce of pesticides in 100 ounces of water. If the pesticide or herbicide could be detected it was removed from the market.

Since those golden oldie years laboratories can detect to parts per trillion, and with some very specialized equipment, even smaller quantities. Some laboratories have produced detection methods that the EPA cannot keep up with because of budgeting.

These days there are also toxicology tests that must be performed on pesticides and herbicides to prove that these chemicals will not cause any illness or side effects on people and animals.

The residual levels of pesticides and herbicides found in the environment is far less than those found to be toxicologically harmful. This is were some environmentalists tell you that the pesticides on apples will cause birth defects, illness and death, they don’t tell it takes 500,000 apples to kill you. I think you die from eating the apples before the pesticide.

Years ago people and farmers applied pesticides and herbicides by the gallons per acre. With so many new discoveries in the past 30 years we can now produce better solutions with a gram or less per acre and get better results.

The EPA has an option to audit any company that sells these products. The audits are not fun. The EPA demands that everything is perfect. Anything found wrong can, and usually is fined.

Except for those fish with warts or other abnormalities, I would eat the walleye from the big Tittabawassee.
 

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I'm a seagull when it comes to eating fish. I have fished both the Saginaw and the tit. I eat the fish, but you have to clean them really well, more so than the bay and inland lakes. I have found that the bigger fish (4-6lbs) tend to not taste as well as the smaller fish. This is not ALWAYS the case. I have even thrown one out while pan frying because it gave off what I perceived to be a foul odor. But as I said in the beginning, I still eat them.
 

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I tend to follow this simple rule. If the species stays in the river year round, then I wouldn't eat it, like the smallmouth bass, sheephead and catfish. If the fish are migrating into the river only to spawn, then I don't have a problem with it. Just my .02

Mike
 

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the one walleye i tried eating out of the saginaw last winter (~3.5-4lbs) tasted HORRIBLE. one bite, tasted like chemical laced mud, spit it in the trash along with the rest of it. couldn't believe it, a walleye that tasted horrible. from now on no fish out of that system for me.

steve
 

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I have no problem eating any Walleyes out of the Sag. Bay, Sag. River, the Tibb. etc. (I also would never eat fish that live in the river systems year round.) I've eaten these migrating fish for years and have no problem with it. Yes, there have been a couple "nasty" fish, just toss 'em. I've also had nasty fish out of northern Ontario waters too. The warts have been seen by myself on a lot of fish from very clean waters too. I've read where it really becomes apparent and is transmitted to other fish is when all these fish come into extremely close proximity to one another when the "spawn" is on. They rub up on each other and viola !, virus transmission happens. Just like humans passing a virus to each other. Clean your catch well (as you should from any water), prepare / cook thoroughly and enjoy without worry ! :D
 

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Seems as if the one's I tried also had a fowl smell and the meet was really pink instead of white or clear. I just cant bring myself to eating them. Plus knowing whats going on environmently with the large corporation upstream in midland.

Grizzly
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Originally posted by mkroulik
I tend to follow this simple rule. If the species stays in the river year round, then I wouldn't eat it, like the smallmouth bass, sheephead and catfish. If the fish are migrating into the river only to spawn, then I don't have a problem with it. Just my .02

Mike
Mike.

A very knowledgable .02 cents. To be honest with you, I'd say that's the sound reasoning I go by as well. During the prime times Spring/Fall/Winter on both the Tittabawassee and the Saginaw, that's is exactly what is happening. 99% of these fish are only there on their spawning cycles. Resident fish should IMHO either be returned to the water, or taken very special care care during the cleaning and preparation process.
 
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