Does Fishing Make You Happier Than It Should?

Fish have been swimming in and absorbing drugs in rivers between the Great Lakes.

September 2017 Feature

You remember those singing “Be Happy” basses that you’d have on the wall in your younger days (or perhaps still do have on your wall)? Ever wonder why that bass was so happy?

Well, it turns out that largemouth bass is one of the species in the Great Lakes rivers (like the Niagara River) that has been swimming in drugs. Antidepressants, to be exact.

A study in the journal of Environmental Science and Technology found copious amounts of drugs, such as Zoloft, Prozac, and Sarafem, concentrated in the brain, livers, muscles and gonads of these fish (yikes). But how?

When humans take antidepressants, they have the ingredients of that drug in their urine. When that urine gets flushed, the wastewater treatment plants fail to filter out those medications, and so they end up in the rivers, where fish absorb them right up.

And here you were thinking that nature, boating, fishing, and relaxing were your natural antidepressants, when instead, it could be the secondhand drugs found in your day’s catch.

But don’t worry. Just keep bein’ happy out there.

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