Published: Jan 1973
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Increased use of lakes and rivers for sport and commercial fishing in the vicinity of large municipal and industrial discharges has led to the realization that fish in many bodies of water are not palatable. The discharge of organic compounds has led to the contamination of fish flesh to such an extent that fishing is curtailed more because of poor eating quality rather than the lack of fish.
To evaluate the magnitude of the tainting of fish flesh in a large river, studies were conducted on the flavor of channel catfish (Ictalurus punctatus Rafinesque) flesh from the Ohio River from Pittsburgh, Pa., to Cairo, Ill. Tasting of fish flesh determined that a panel could differentiate between fish held upstream and downstream from a wastewater discharge. Caged test fish exposed for three days acquired a minimum of 70 percent of the off-flavor of native fish.
rivers, water pollution, organic compounds, fishes, taste, flavor, tainting substances
Chief, Large Lakes Program, Environmental Protection Agency, Grosse Ile Laboratory, Grosse Ile, Mich.