Anglers say fish gather under blooms. Scientists say fish show levels of a liver toxin

Despite often being described as smelly and not nice to look at, algae blooms can be helpful when it comes to catching more fish in Lake Erie.

Rene Shahmohamadloo.

René Shahmohamadloo has published a research paper on how Lake Erie fish are safe to eat despite being afflicted by algal hepatotoxins, but he’s also concerned about the health of the fish.

The ecotoxicologist and postdoctoral scientist said he hopes his work can advocate for a “voiceless” fish population.

“What about the fish themselves who have no choice but to swim in these potentially very toxic baths?” said Shahmohamadloo, who’s dually affiliated with Washington State University’s School of Biological Sciences and the University of Guelph in Ontario.

“I find it fascinating how we can look at this story because it shows how human centric we’ve become … if it’s not an issue to us as a human species, let’s keep life going on.”

After two rounds of sampling, Shahmohamadloo said their study suggests the levels of concentrations would be of concern to fish population growth and development.

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