23 Mar 2012 Open Season for Trout – Radiation Contamination of Fish
It’s already one year since the last year’s horrible quake, and every stream anglers have been waiting for open season of this year for having good time. Within the heartbeating excitement, dark shadows worry us: radioactive material fall out onto mountains.
In Tochigi Prefecture, well known for great trout streams, state government announced that all streams cannot be opened due to the fact fish are contaminated with caesium 137, radioactive contaminant brown out of Fukushima, beyond the regulated level of 100 becquerel per kilogram. Neighboring Gunma Prefecture are making similar announcement.
For instance, yamame or cherry salmon in Nikko is contaminated with 94.2 – 269 becquerel of cesium 137 per kg.
In Tokyo streams, 18-81 becquerel per kg were detected in yamame.
Source: Contamination Level of Trout in Tochigi
It’s all due to last year’s nuclear meltdown at Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant. Explosion emitted 15,000 tera becquerel worth of radioactive material into atmosphere which is worth blowing up 168 atomic bomb. Why spreading all over mountain areas in Japan? Lightweight particles blown into air go all the way up ato high altitude where jet stream runs. Fall out continued in high altitude parts of Japan which is mountains who are usually 800-2,000m above sea level. Then the particle are washed out by rains into small streams in mountains.
Is This Only Happening in Mountain Streams?
Answer is no. Tokyo Bay, for instance, collects all the water exhausted from big rivers. Last year’s test result showed that there are high concentration of radioactive silt in estuaries. Estuary of Edo River showed 27,000 becquerel of cesium 137 per kilogram (source: NHK).
Guess we have no choice, but go Catch&Release for years.