Blue-gill (common pond fish) as water quality monitors

Common blue-gill are being used to monitor the quality of water supplies.

This amuses the hell out of me on several levels.

First, the major news outlets are calling this an “anti-terrorism measure”. I really wish they would stop feeding the terrorist’s cause.

The fish are being used as “canaries in a coal mine”. That is, their vital signs are monitored as water passes through the water supply processing system. If there are nasties in the water, the fish respond by increasing respiration in the form of increased gill movement and heart rate.

Excellent. A cheap, natural, solution that is orders of magnitude more effective than other solutions.

Successfully Caught Fish!

Anti-terrorism? No. An Über-efficient, natural, solution to a very hard problem that has impacted water supplies for as long as there has been water supplies.

I am looking forward to the day when the press and the government stop perpetuating the terrorist cause through marketing-by-fear-mongering to capture eyeballs and ignorant votes.

Beyond that, I find it all amusing because blue-gill are a lot of fun to catch, are easy to clean and just so incredibly damned tasty.

Fish fry, anyone?

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4 Responses to “Blue-gill (common pond fish) as water quality monitors”

  1. Woody says:

    Mmmmm….. blue-gill! When’s the fish fry? I also love it when neighbors show up at the door… “Y’all want some fish? We caught more than we can eat tonite, and we don’t have room in the freezer.” Almost as good as catching them yourself. I wonder if the local, but widely-known local hatchery, Ken’s Fish Hatchery is in on any of this water quality stuff. Yeah, this is the place where the Hogzilla story originated last year. But they do have some huge hybrid bream.

  2. Neo says:

    I guess the government will stop “perpetuating the terrorist cause” when there are no more terrorists trying to kill peace-loving family guys who like to eat sunfish and are utterly ignorant to how dangerous the entire rest of the world outside of the Left-Coast Bay Area *really* is (and has been, long before the United States or even George W. Bush was elected, twice).

  3. bbum says:

    Did you actually read the post? Do you understand the words within? Clearly not. I understand exactly how dangerous the world is and I’m irritated that the government — really, in this case, the press — is perpetuating fear of a threat that is extremely minor compared to actual threats.

    Let me try to break it down into simple terms:

    (1) Tainted water supplies have been a problem forever.

    (2) Most of the problem is either natural agents — algae blooms, rot, etc…

    (3) In the past 100 years, unintentional man-made contamination has become more of a problem. Pesticides. Fertilizer. The like.

    (4) Poisoning a water supply requires an ungodly huge amount of material. Trucks full. That terrorists might do so is a hollywood scenario. It hasn’t happened in the real world (that I could find) because it just isn’t practical.

    (5) The definition of terrorist is “a person who uses terrorism in the pursuit of political aims.”

    (6) The definition of terrorism is “the use of violence and intimidation in the pursuit of political aims”.

    Conclusion: The fish are there to protect against (2) and (3), not (4). The chances of (4) happening are fleetingly small. (2) and (3) happen every year around the country.

    Now, read (6) carefully. See the word “intimidation”. The press and the government’s constant stream of fear mongering stories intimidates the population. It creates fear — terror — and therefore, perpetuates the terrorist cause.

    There are legitimate reasons to be fearful these days. Certainly. Perptuating fear of scenarios that have never happened anywhere but in Hollywood or Simpsons cartoons is irresponsible.

  4. fly in fishing says:

    Blue gill are fun to catch and delicious no doubt about it. I never heard of using them for a water quality indicator before though.

    It’s funny how many people aren’t interested in catching bluegill. I throw bass back because I’d rather not eat them, not to mention my kids might catch the same fish some day wehn it’s even bigger.

    The female bluegill are the less brighter colored fish. After you catch a few you will notice some are very bright and other are a little less colorful. Releasing the female bluegill helps keep the population on the up. Throwing back large females also helps strengthen the genetics of the larger fish. Keeping all the big fish and throwing back all the small fish strengthens the small gene and this is why many lakes have almost all small bluegill.

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