Holy Hormones Honey! Sound fishy you say? Not so – the amount of estrogen mimickers that are getting into the water streams is alarming and causing the feminization of male fish. Not just for estrogen in birth control – as we were told years ago – but now from a variety of products that we use on a daily basis. The biggest culprit is BPA in plastic. How many water bottles, food wrapping and even fishing equipment (plastic bob) are tossed into the water? Add to that household cleaners and laundry detergents that are flushed down the drain, perfumes, dryer sheets, sunscreen, cosmetics, vinyl shower curtains and air fresheners. All endocrine system disruptors. We are our environment folks. Wonder how many water treatment plants are prepared to filter estrogenic compounds out of the water.
Bizarre phenomenon of fish changing genders is happening all over the world: What’s in the water?
Thursday, March 21, 2013 by: J. D. Heyes
What – wait. Changing? Yes, and at least one local news team has been documenting these changes since 2002, when concerns were first emerging. A decade later, “scientists are beginning to call it a significant threat,” the Northlands Newscenter reported in February.
“Walleye cakes, walleye bites, walleye sandwich…it’s a popular delicacy in restaurants around the northland,” the Newscenter said. “It’s also a multi-million dollar industry, attracting hundreds of thousands of anglers to the Northland’s beautiful lakes year round.”
Feminization of male fish
While many area residents and not a few visitors to the area take the industry for granted in believing that the waters can be fished forever, scientists have discovered a major threat to the abilities of many kinds of fish to reproduce.
“Changes in, for example, the external characteristics of males where they start to resemble females,” Dr. Gary Ankley of the U.S. EPA Lab in Duluth, Minn., told the Newscenter.