(Help Needed) Do you want to know if Kelvin Trout are safe to eat?

I have recieved an email from Craig Robinson Environmental Impacts Group – Fisheries Research Services

I am writing having seen your River Kelvin website, and I have a request to make, but first I will give some background to it.

The Food Standards Agency (FSA) has a remit to ensure that food is not hazardous to consumers. That remit extends to levels of environmental contaminants (such as heavy metals, dioxins, etc) in “wild-caught” food items, such as marine and freshwater fish and shellfish. FSA therefore commission research to monitor such things, and I am currently working on a project to identify suitable sites and obtain samples of coarse fish and brown trout for chemical analysis. The rationale behind the work was that increasing numbers of Eastern Europeans living in Scotland are likely to result in increased consumption of coarse fish, and the FSA had little information on the concentrations of environmental contaminants in these (although they hold data from farmed salmon/trout). In addition, wild brown trout may be more widely consumed than coarse species, and also spend their full life-cycle in one river system. Fish caught for the project will be analysed for an extensive suite of environmental contaminants, including heavy metals, dioxins, PCBs, and pesticides, along with compounds of more recent environmental concern, including potential “gender-bending” compounds such as phthalates and brominated flame retardants. Data from the study will be made available to SEPA and may highlight areas that require further water quality improvements.

I have contacted Doug Brown and been given the go-ahead to take fish from the Kelvin AA’s waters on the Kelvin and the Clyde, but I am short of the means to do so, therefore I wondered whether you (and/or any pals) may like to assist the project by collecting fish for me? In order to provide sufficient material for chemical analysis, half-a-dozen fish of about half a pound each are required. I am not sure about your preferred quarry, but I suspect it is trout and I would be very happy to obtain trout alone and not worry about pike, perch, etc. If you would like to assist, or would like more information, please contact me by reply to this email or on the phone number below. The advantages to people who fish the Kelvin/Clyde would be knowledge about whether the fish are safe to eat (the Kelvin AA could put up notices if they were not and so probably reduce poaching), and the data generated may also highlight whether further water quality improvements are required (SEPA will be provided with a copy of the final project report and with access to the data arising from the study). Any assistance received would of course be acknowledged in the project report and a copy of it would be sent to yourself.

If you have got this far through the email, many thanks for considering my request and I look forward to your reply,


PS if you were to assist, it would just be a question of hanging on to any fish that you caught (frozen and wrapped in kitchen foil) until I am able to collect them on a convenient date in October. If fewer fish were caught than I suggested above, then the analysts would simply measure a smaller number of contaminants.

I think this is a great opportunity to find out exactly what condition our Kelvin trout are in!

So – who is up to helping Craig?

His email addy is c.robinson(nospam)marlab.ac.uk

(replace (nospam) with @


  1. Stuart B · September 26, 2008

    This part has confused me

    “I have contacted Doug Brown and been given the go-ahead to take fish from the Kelvin AA’s waters on the Kelvin and the Clyde”

  2. David · September 26, 2008

    Sounds like it’s just someone after some fresh trout for his freezer without having to bother with trouble of trying to catch them. Then again I am extremely suspicious of everyone and even when my wife suggests I go fishing I think she may be having an affair with the next door neighbour. I still go fishing though.

    The idea that the club would put up signs saying do not poach here as the fish are contaminated seems a little worrying. I think the club would be more concerned with getting the contamination sorted rather than using it to scare poachers.It’s not a river I have ever fished but I hope you don’t mind me commenting.

  3. Stuart B · September 26, 2008

    I tend to agree that such notices if put up would not deter poachers as they probably couldn’t give a toss if the fish they sell were contaminated but as for your comment about it being some guy wanting fish for his freezer….I’m not sure if that was meant to be a serious comment …Surely not .

    I guess you didn’t take time to Google for that Organisation .


  4. Alistair · September 26, 2008

    Intersesting points – lets take this one to the forum – link in post!

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