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fishingfourfun

Catfishing Northern Virginia

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I wouldn't eat any catfish from around here unless it is farm raised, in other words I would not eat any fish caught locally.

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Why not? We get our water from the occoquan, i'd assume the fish in it'd be fine to eat.  My friends have taken fish home from the potomac but that's too ballsy for me.  I also see quite a few people taking catfish from Burke.  

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The water from the Occoquan is treated and cleaned before we see it at our homes.  I just prefer to get farm raised catfish, my personal preference.

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Growing up my pop would fry up cats from fountain head all the time.

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Do you really get water from the river for your house?

I know in most places they have a county well and after the sanitation stations work there magic it's put back in the "system" with any overflow back into the Potomac.  On real rainy days I think the treatment centers dump overflow to the Potomac before its clean.

You could come up to the Shenandoah but even we have had mercury problems in the water which of course dumps to the Potomac

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The water from the upper Occoquan river is the source of Water for a large portion of Prince William County as well as part of Fairfax County Virginia.

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Most of the waters in NOVA (and most highly populated areas for that matter) have consumption advisories on fish.  Most of the fish advisories are large lethargic fish like catfish and carp.  These fish actually accumulate contaminates in the fatty tissues over their lifetimes from consumption of smaller fish and vegetation.   The main contaminates are PCBs and mercury.  Since these are accumulated in the fatty tissue a lot can be avoided by trimming these areas off of your catch.  These areas are mostly the belly and around the fins.  If you don't make your entire diet out of these fish, trim them correctly, and limit it to a few meals a month you have no worries.  As for eating out of the Occoquan you should be fine while observing the aforementioned guidelines.  I would however strongly suggest consulting the VADGIF website to see what advisory is on which portion of water body you are harvesting fish from.  

Roll that fabulous bean footage....

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The Rappahannock river is well known for producing large numbers of catfish. I do not believe there is a consumption variety for this river. Winter is also a good time to fish for the large blue catfish that are present in the deeper holes along this river. You can fish by boat, and there are several places to access the shore along the river.

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Sorry-- that should have been "consumption advisory," not "consumption variety."

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There is an advisory for the Rappahannock from I95 Bridge south to the mouth.  The link for the Virginia Department of Health is below.  Another item I seemed to exclude is that if you eat smaller fish they typically have lower levels of contaminates.  Statistically a 25 lb catfish will have higher concentrations of PCBs and mercury then a 2 lb fish.  

http://www.vdh.virginia.gov/epidemiology/publichealthtoxicology/Advisories/RappahannockRiver.htm

Here is a link for all Virginia waters (same website).  Look how many of our waters have been effected.  

http://www.vdh.virginia.gov/epidemiology/publichealthtoxicology/Advisories/index.htm

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