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DCL

There are quite a few anglers out there who enjoy pan-frying a catfish over a campfire in the dusky twilight. When I go fishing, I personally enjoy bringing along a small bag of homemade "flavor-shakin's" to roll my fish meat in. Then I slather the pan in oil and begin the fry.

Unfortunately, slow-food, the kind of food that you have to catch, kill, clean and eat, is rapidly becoming a thing of the past. Many of our national waters are polluted with chemicals, especially mercury.

Fish swimming in these waters will absorb the mercury into their bodies. Anyone who catches and eats these fish will risk contaminating themselves with second-hand mercury. Wild fish may also contain selenium or harmful pesticide runoff.

Mercury poisoning is hard to detect. Its symptoms are vague. It causes all manner of medical problems: Shyness, irritability, hair loss, bad breath, etc. Anyone suffering from these symptoms could have a hard time linking it to mercury poisoning. That is why it is extremely important to research the lake, river or bay that you fish in.

Coal plants cause much of this pollution. There might be a coal plant near you. Before you fish, make sure that the water source that you are fishing in does not connect to a coal plant. The fish in those waters are the most likely to be contaminated.

Most states have a fish consumption advisory. You can find them through each state's game and park commission. Consult the advisory before you eat your catch.