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Discussion Starter #1
I've wanted to get into some good panfish action for awhile now (in addition to big catfish), so I'm planning on fishing Utah Lake this summer. I don't want to bring a ton home, but I'd like to eat some species I haven't had much exposure to.

As far as I can tell, in Utah Lake I may find (in addition to many more):

1. Bluegill and Green Sunfish
2. Crappie
3. Perch
4. White Bass
5. Piranha

What would you consider to be a good keeper size for each of these species from Utah Lake? I know everyone has a different opinion, but that's what I like about this forum. Thanks for helping someone who doesn't have much experience with this type of thing. As a rough guess, I'm thinking 7" for sunfish and crappie, 9" for perch, 11" for white bass, and any size on the piranha. Does that sound reasonable?
 

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I live within spitting distance of Utah lake and honestly I would have a hard time keeping and eating anything that came out of there knowing the pollution that was dumped in there over the last 150 years. Just my personal opinion.
 

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Every once in a while I see a post from someone who is new to fishing UL askng about the pollution and I get up in arms about people saying it's just fine, don't worry about it. It's probably best if you look up the fish advisories and some of the studies on PCB and then make up your own mind on the subject....maybe BEFORE you eat a lot of fish from there because it's supposed to cause cognitive problems in high doses. ;-)
 

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I know quite a few people that have been eating fish from Utah Lake who are now in their 70's with no ill effects. But it is like any other water, check the health advisories and don't make a steady diet of them.
 

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I know quite a few people that have been eating fish from Utah Lake who are now in their 70's with no ill effects. But it is like any other water, check the health advisories and don't make a steady diet of them.
Other than them glowing in the dark at night you mean... ;-)
 

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Other than them glowing in the dark at night you mean... ;-)
Actually I think that you glow in the dark from eating fish from the Louisianian Bayou's. You get extra appendages from eating fish from Utah Lake>>O
 

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West side Utah Lake
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Actually I think that you glow in the dark from eating fish from the Louisianian Bayou's. You get extra appendages from eating fish from Utah Lake>>O
The bayous are fine, just don't eat anything from the Mississippi River. Pretty much all the waste from industrial and municipal makes it's way down the Mississippi River. There are freaking huge catfish in there but I wouldn't eat one. I've seen 40-60 pounders come out of there regularly. Oh yeah there's just a few nuke plants along the Mississippi so no doubt radiation makes it's way into there too, hence the fish glowing. :grin:
 

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I agree with the health advisories but younger, smaller fish should be reasonably safe for some consumption. They haven't had time to accumulate toxins.

I don't fish Utah Lake but in general my opinion is:
1. Bluegill -- I like to target 7.5" to 9" bigger ones are too bony and hard to fillet. and Green Sunfish are too bony after about 8 inches. Not many get that big.
2. Crappie -- I like 9 to 12 inchers
3. Perch -- I like the 7 to 11 inchers, bigger ones get too bony and hard to fillet.
4. White Bass -- 10 to 14 inches
5. Piranha -- :shock::shock::shock: kill them all, eat what you want.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I agree with the health advisories but younger, smaller fish should be reasonably safe for some consumption. They haven't had time to accumulate toxins.

I don't fish Utah Lake but in general my opinion is:
1. Bluegill -- I like to target 7.5" to 9" bigger ones are too bony and hard to fillet. and Green Sunfish are too bony after about 8 inches. Not many get that big.
2. Crappie -- I like 9 to 12 inchers
3. Perch -- I like the 7 to 11 inchers, bigger ones get too bony and hard to fillet.
4. White Bass -- 10 to 14 inches
5. Piranha -- :shock::shock::shock: kill them all, eat what you want.
Thanks for the feedback.

I'll refer y'all to this document as a place to get started:

http://fishadvisories.utah.gov/docs/2008/111708_PCBs_in_Utah_Lake_Sediment_Study.pdf

I've looked at this, and other documents, and I'm comfortable eating an occasional panfish from Utah Lake.
 

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I've wanted to get into some good panfish action for awhile now (in addition to big catfish), so I'm planning on fishing Utah Lake this summer. I don't want to bring a ton home, but I'd like to eat some species I haven't had much exposure to.

As far as I can tell, in Utah Lake I may find (in addition to many more):

1. Bluegill and Green Sunfish
2. Crappie
3. Perch
4. White Bass
5. Piranha

What would you consider to be a good keeper size for each of these species from Utah Lake? I know everyone has a different opinion, but that's what I like about this forum. Thanks for helping someone who doesn't have much experience with this type of thing. As a rough guess, I'm thinking 7" for sunfish and crappie, 9" for perch, 11" for white bass, and any size on the piranha. Does that sound reasonable?
First this, then we'll talk about the safety issue.

As for keepers, the answer is whatever size you feel comfortable to fillet. UL has excellent bluegills and you can indeed get some nice meaty ones. 6-7 inches is probably close, but you can get 9-10 inch jumbos too. The crappie have been a little better this year, but are still smaller than what you may get at Willard Bay. 7 inches is probably a good starting point, with some bigger. The whites have mostly been about 10-11 inches long. If you get into them, and want to keep a few, I would say 10 inches and up is about standard. Yellow perch are there, but are somewhat rare. While you may catch one or two, they aren't something you can expect to get a large number of on a regular basis. if you get one, just include it in whatever you are catching.

Right now, the crappie are slowing down a fair bit, the bluegills are biting pretty well if you can find them, and the white bass are also slowing down a bit but are available still around inlets and rocky harbors. Good luck.
 

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Now for UL fish safety, regarding panfish. Here are the facts.

1. There is no advisory for eating panfish from Utah lake.
2. The fish in Utah lake have some of the lowest measured mercury levels in the entire state.
3. A white bass fillet has only one half of the minimum strictest advisory standard for PCB's in it.

Jedediah has seemingly been on a crusade to convince us that we are all going to suffer horrific health problems by eating UL fish. I can't say he was convincing. You can read about it here.

http://www.bigfishtackle.com/cgi-bi..._view=forum_view_collapsed;page=unread#unread

In his effort to say something relevant, he did post an awesome link though that sheds more light on UL fish, the lake itself, and fish eating in general. (and demonstrates that the UL fish are safe :grin:)

http://fishadvisories.utah.gov/docs/2008/111708_PCBs_in_Utah_Lake_Sediment_Study.pdf

The important points of this link can be summarized as follows.

1.A white bass fillet has 10.2 parts per billion of PCB. This value is one half of the minimum advisory level set by the EPA (20 ppb). It is also 8 and 10 times lower than the levels for carp and channel catfish. One half of the minimum standard for white bass is not borderline, it is safe. Bullheads tested even lower.

2. Regarding the bottom sediment study, which is the reason this paper was written, the following is a suitable excerpt for this discussion. Please note the last sentence.

" It was agreed prior to sampling that locations exceeding the ESL of 59.8 ppb would be
identified as needing additional analysis. However, since all sediment samples are below
this ESL value, additional sediment analysis is not warranted at this time. When
comparing the PCB concentrations of Utah Lake's fish and sediment to other PCB
contaminated sites, Utah Lake is at least an order of magnitude lower (Figures 3 and 4).


3. Regarding the different standards for determining fish consumption advisories, (from the conclusions in the linked paper).

" Figure 3 compares the PCB concentrations in carp and catfish from Utah Lake to fish
collected in the Great Lakes, Hudson River, Delaware Bay, and salmon sold in the
market. PCB concentrations in fish from Utah Lake are comparable to those sold in the
market. Utah Lake's fish are well below the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) safe
level of 2000 ppb.
The FDA considers PCB concentrations greater than 2000 ppb in fish
fillets to be a health risk. Additionally, PCBs found in Utah Lake are at least one order of
magnitude below other contaminated sites including the Great Lakes, Hudson River, and
Delaware Bay."

This statement explains that UL carp and catfish PCB levels are comparable to fish sold in the supermarket, and much lower than many other well known fisheries. That is carp and catfish. As we saw earlier, white bass are 8 and 10 times lower than that!

To paraphrase.

1. A white bass fillet has only 1/2 of the minimum PCB advisory level, set by the EPA. This is the strictest standard. It is an order of magnitude lower than the FDA minimum safety standard of 2000 PPB.

2. Supermarket and restaurant fish are comparable to UL carp and catfish in PCB levels and white bass are 8 and 10 times lower than that!

3. Compared to other fisheries considered contaminated by PCB's, Utah Lake has an order of magnitude lower level of contamination in both fish and sediment.

4. I worry about Jedediah's cognitive function well before I'd worry about eating panfish from Utah Lake.
 

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Pretty sure I advised him to read up and make his own choices. To me, the effects of PCB are a valid concern due to the tendency of the chemical to bond to fat, which is the main reason it causes birth defects in the brains of children that were exposed to it as festuses, the brain and surrounding tissues being high in fat.

4. I worry about Jedediah's cognitive function well before I'd worry about eating panfish from Utah Lake.
Personal attacks now? Maybe your deep emotional investment in this is due to you not being able to figure out if your own brains have been declining from the fish, or if it's always been that way?
 

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West side Utah Lake
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You have little room to talk, Mr. Louisiana.;-)

http://dhh.louisiana.gov/index.cfm/page/902
Very interesting indeed and full of garbage I might add. My brother has had a camp on Cross Bayou, one of the areas listed, and they eat fish out of there and Saline Bayou complex (another area listed) at least once a week (primarily bass, catfish and crappie). Now let me think...ok they've been doing this for the better part of 35 years and I can honestly say that I haven't seen any effects on him, his wife or their daughter. But hey, I could be wrong, but last time we were there they still seemed coherent, able to walk and chew bubble gum at the same time, carry on a conversation and none of them glowed in the dark at night....strange...
 

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Pretty sure I advised him to read up and make his own choices. To me, the effects of PCB are a valid concern due to the tendency of the chemical to bond to fat, which is the main reason it causes birth defects in the brains of children that were exposed to it as festuses, the brain and surrounding tissues being high in fat.

Personal attacks now? Maybe your deep emotional investment in this is due to you not being able to figure out if your own brains have been declining from the fish, or if it's always been that way?
PCB's are some of the nastiest stuff there is and it lasts a long time. Go look up the recommended PPE (personal protection equipment) recommended for PCB and while you're at it go look up an MSDS (material safety data sheet) for PCB too. If that doesn't give you the willies then eat all you want out of the PCB dumping ground known as Utah Lake.
 

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Very interesting indeed and full of garbage I might add. My brother has had a camp on Cross Bayou, one of the areas listed, and they eat fish out of there and Saline Bayou complex (another area listed) at least once a week (primarily bass, catfish and crappie). Now let me think...ok they've been doing this for the better part of 35 years and I can honestly say that I haven't seen any effects on him, his wife or their daughter. But hey, I could be wrong, but last time we were there they still seemed coherent, able to walk and chew bubble gum at the same time, carry on a conversation and none of them glowed in the dark at night....strange...
Amazing, that sounds exactly like what several hundred Utah lake white bass and panfish consumers say. Basically word for word. The only difference is that the Utah lake panfish do not have a consumption advisory on them.

But, hey, it's all what one wants to believe, right?
 

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Quote #4 was in direct response to the quote below.

It's probably best if you look up the fish advisories and some of the studies on PCB and then make up your own mind on the subject....maybe BEFORE you eat a lot of fish from there because it's supposed to cause cognitive problems in high doses. ;-)
However, I apologize if it was construed as a personal attack.

As for emotional investment, it is apparent that I am no more or less invested in this than you are. Nevertheless, I do feel any discussion of this nature should be based on facts and have striven to provide them. Folks can decide for themselves, and as I said before on BFT, I personally could care less what an individual decides to do.
 

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You certainly try hard to talk people into eating Utah Lake fish for not caring. I don't think it's fully safe to eat fish from the place and my empathy for people impels me to speak up. People should at least be aware that the offal is considerably more dangerous than the meat. The facts you selected mostly ignore that. People should read it on their own.
 

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You certainly try hard to talk people into eating Utah Lake fish for not caring. I don't think it's fully safe to eat fish from the place and my empathy for people impels me to speak up. People should at least be aware that the offal is considerably more dangerous than the meat. The facts you selected mostly ignore that. People should read it on their own.
Seems you are trying equally as hard to convince people otherwise, which was acknowledged above.

I didn't know people consumed fish offal with any regularity. -O,- I'm assuming that's why it wasn't included in the reports. I don't see it as him trying to talk people into eating them, rather a fact based rebuttal of some fear-instilling comments that would lead one to believe that if you eat a bluegill from utah lake you will grow an extra toe on your forehead tomorrow. I don't think this is an empathy issue either. At the very least that empathy seems misplaced. Follow advisories and make decisions based on them. And don't eat fish guts, because that's nasty........
 

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Amazing, that sounds exactly like what several hundred Utah lake white bass and panfish consumers say. Basically word for word. The only difference is that the Utah lake panfish do not have a consumption advisory on them.

But, hey, it's all what one wants to believe, right?
I realize my last post didn't come across quite right. I wasn't bashing or attacking you at all and my apologies if you took it that way. It was meant to show the foolishness of some of the folks at the good ol LA DNR. My brother and his family spend quite a bit of time at their camp on Cross Bayou and rarely eat anything other than wild game and have for years. He kills several deer per year for the freezer (you can kill up to 6 per year), usually gets 3-5 wild hogs per year, quite a few ducks and several dozen squirrels and rabbits then on top of that having the camp on the bayou which is loaded with fish pretty much every time they go to the camp (almost every weekend) they bring home a nice mess of fish. Usually bass and catfish and during the spring, crappie. He has two freezers at home plus one at the camp. Last time we were there we simply walked out into the yard, moved some leaves and picked up a few dozen nightcrawlers then walked onto the pier and caught over 7 dozen catfish in about 2 hours time. We kept enough for two meals and threw the rest back. I understand them putting out an advisory on their lake but it's all a bunch of baloney. Just like people in north LA have been reporting sightings of mountain lions for almost 10 years and the LA DNR says there are none. So last year a hunter took his trail cam to the local newspaper and had them print about half a dozen pictures of mountain lions he had on the cam in North LA. The DNR still to this day is refusing comment on the pictures. Also the DNR has been claiming that there are still not enough of the supposedly endangered LA Black Bear. Out where my brother lives there are tons and people kill 1-2 every year as nuisance bears because the DNR won't do anything....well this year alone in their area there have been 3 different bears come into town! One elementary school had to go on lockdown because there was a mamma bear and 3 cubs walking around on the playground during school! Needless to say now the DNR idiots have to admit there are too many bears and are going to relocate some and open up a limited hunting season as well.

So please, no offense meant towards you it was towards my idiot friends at the LA DNR.
 
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