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Are Finger Lakes fish safe eating?

The rule of thumb for eating fish from the Finger Lakes: No more than once a week or four times a month. Why? Mercury contamination.

How mercury pollution is getting into the lakes and the fish we eat was the subject of a presentation Tuesday at Finger Lakes Community College by researcher and assistant professor Roxanne Razavi. The Finger Lakes Mercury Project, involving Razavi and a team with Finger Lakes Institute and FLCC, conducted sampling, testing and analysis of fish from the lakes to learn more and build a framework for continued research.

What do we know from this project that began in 2015? The results are a mix of what we’d expect along with surprises.

Canandaigua Lake was key in the research, chosen as one of the lakes for sampling based on its status as one of the cleanest lakes — one whose nutrient levels are more in check than most other lakes in the region. Honeoye, too, was sampled as a lake at the other end of the spectrum, known for its higher nutrient levels.

But the obvious can be deceiving when it comes to mercury contamination.

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