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#317221 01/11/13 11:46 AM
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mudhole Offline OP
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Are fish from a cow pond edible?

My new old pond had been used by cows for the last 7-10 years prior to me buying the property. They have been no cows since September and I was surprised to find a high population of small bass. In the spring I plan on having a troop of Scouts help thin them out. Will the fish be OK for a fish fry or should I use them as fertilizer?

Is it possible to get fish tested and if so what should they be tested for?

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I've never done any testing in that regard, but I spent years eating fish out of ponds and creeks that were utilized by cattle....no issues thus far!


"Forget pounds and ounces, I'm figuring displacement!"

If we accept that: MBG(+)FGSF(=)HBG(F1)
And we surmise that: BG(>)HBG(F1) while GSF(<)HBG(F1)
Would it hold true that: HBG(F1)(+)AM500(x)q.d.(=)1.5lbGRWT?
PB answer: It depends.
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I've ate more fish out of cow ponds than anything else.. My pond was a cow pond for 20+ yrs.. Besides look what's in parts of the ocean smile


I believe in catch and release. I catch then release to the grease..

BG. CSBG. LMB. HSB. RES.

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mudhole Offline OP
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Thanks guys, I might have to catch and "test" a couple myself this weekend.

After I posted the questions here I recived a response to an email I sent to the guy that does the fish tissue testing for the NC Dept. of Environment and Natural Resources.

His respones was:
"My guess is that unless previous owners used legacy pesticides on the property that could have made their way into the pond and fish (ddt, dieldrin etc), you should be fine to eat fish (especially the smaller ones, I might get the 8 pounder mounted rather than eating it). Nutrients from agriculture can impact fisheries, but in an indirect sort of way. You may have algae blooms that could lead to fish kills in the heat of summer when oxygen levels get really low. But other than that, nitrogen and phosphorus from cow manure should not lead to contaminated fish. In fact, it is at least partly why there are so many fish in the pond. Increased nutrients leads to an increased food base (plants and algae) for aquatic bugs, which keeps the smaller fish happy. I would guess that there are only a few larger bass in there with plenty of smaller ones to keep them fat and happy."

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RAH Offline
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The risk is from pathogenic bacteria originating from animal waste. You could have your water tested for coliform and e. coli.

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Wow that's actually a pretty good statement from the DNR.. Surprised they didn't wrap that in fine print..


I believe in catch and release. I catch then release to the grease..

BG. CSBG. LMB. HSB. RES.

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Originally Posted By: RAH
The risk is from pathogenic bacteria originating from animal waste. You could have your water tested for coliform and e. coli.



No risk unless eaten as sushi....cooking kills the bacteria easily and completely.

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mudhole Offline OP
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I would not consider it an official response from NCDENR, I exchaged a couple "unofficial" emails with the guy and this was part of his response. I've delt with them before at work. I assume if I wanted an official statement it would have been 20 pages, taken 4 months and would have been charged lots of fee$.

And I don't do sushi . . . so I should be OK.

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I was wondering figured you was Fimiliar with the guy you exchanged emails with


I believe in catch and release. I catch then release to the grease..

BG. CSBG. LMB. HSB. RES.

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