Mercury Rising

A DNR report has confirmed what many Chrislip residents have suspected for a long time – that Fish Lake west of town contains dangerously high levels of mercury.

Don with Mr. Flippy last summer…

Don with Mr. Flippy last summer…

…and the following winter

…and the following winter

Fisheries biologist Gerald Flippy spent a year researching the lake, and recently published his findings.

“The fish are so full of mercury that they literally get longer in hot weather and shorter in cold weather,” said Mr. Flippy.  “You basically have a lake full of living, swimming thermometers.”

He studied several banded fish, and cited the example of Fish #38896654, or “Don,” for short.  Don is pictured above in photos taken six months apart.

Mr. Flippy strongly cautions against eating any fish caught in the lake, but some locals say they’ve eaten them for years with no ill effects.  “My neighbors and I eat fish all the time, and we’re fine,” said one lakeshore resident.  “And in the summer, no one can take us in basketball.”

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    • got mercury
    • July 8th, 2010

    An excellent tool to gauge how much potential mercury is in the fish you are eating is the free on-line calculator found at

  1. Since that mercury builds up you need to have the UM eggheads find a way to concentrate it in CERTAIN body area. Summer would bring in tourist from Bangkok. And winter, well, it was going to get small anyway.

      • chrislipjournal
      • July 10th, 2010

      Jerry, you just might’ve given us a new story…

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