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Fishing along the Clinch River arm of Watts Bar reservoir adjacent to the Oak Ridge Reservation, Tennessee: behavior, knowledge and risk perception.

Authors

Rouse Campbell K1, Dickey RJ, Sexton R, Burger J.
Author information
  • 1The Cadmus Group, Inc., 78A Mitchell Road, Oak Ridge, TN 37830, USA. kcampbell@cadmusgroup.com

Journal

Sci Total Environ. 2002 Nov 1;299(1-3):145-61.

Affiliation

Abstract

Catching and eating fish is usually viewed as a fun, healthy and safe activity. However, with continuing increases in fish consumption advisories due to the contamination of our environment, anglers have to decide whether or not to eat the fish they catch. The Clinch River arm of Watts Bar Reservoir is under a fish consumption advisory because of elevated PCB concentrations in striped bass (Morone saxatilis), catfish (Ictalurus spp.) and sauger (Stizostedion canadense) due in part from contaminants released from the US Department of Energy's (USDOE's) Oak Ridge Reservation (ORR) in East Tennessee. To obtain information about the demographics, fishing behavior, knowledge, fish consumption and risk perception of anglers, a survey was conducted of 202 people actively fishing either on land or by boat along the Clinch River arm of Watts Bar Reservoir adjacent to the ORR from Melton Hill Dam to the Poplar Creek confluence or on Poplar Creek within ORR boundaries from mid-March to early November 2001. Even though 81% of people interviewed knew about the fish consumption advisories for the study area, 48% of them thought the fish were safe to eat, while 38% ate the fish that they caught from the study area. Approximately 36% of anglers who had knowledge of the fish consumption warnings ate fish from the study area. Providing confirmation that people fish for many reasons, 35% of anglers interviewed did not eat fish at all. The majority of anglers interviewed knew about the fish consumption advisories because of the signs posted throughout the study area. However, few people knew the correct fish advisories. Significantly fewer blacks had knowledge of the fish consumption warnings than whites. Information resulting from this study could be used to design a program with the objective of reaching the people who may be most at risk from eating fish caught from the Clinch River arm of Watts Bar Reservoir.

PMID

12462581 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Elsevier Science: Full text
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