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Case Studies
Water Management Associations
Endocrine Disruptors in Lakes are Becoming an Emerging Concern
Every spring, Dr. Carl Isaacson, a professor of environmental studies at Bemidji State University, sends his students out to collect perch from waters across Minnesota.

Then, they study an egg yolk protein found in the perchs’ livers, called vitellogenin, which may provide evidence of endocrine disruption in the state’s aquatic species.

Over the past few years, studies of Minnesota’s waters have found a variety of unregulated chemicals -- such as pharmaceuticals, fragrances, fire retardants, detergents and insecticides -- which are widespread in the state’s lakes and rivers.

When male fish are exposed to EACs, they can start to develop female attributes, such as increased vitellogenin concentrations; in more extreme instances, male fish have also been found to produce eggs in their testes.

And while these chemicals have been linked to health problems such as infertility and different types of cancer, “it’s too soon to say whether feminized fish are indicative of health effects for humans too,” an article by National Geographic said.

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Triploid Grass Carp Destroy Fishery - Caney Lake was once the hottest bass fishery on the continent until complaints about submerged aquatic vegetation by landowners led to the introduction of triploid grass carp. The carp fed on the vegetation leaving bare bottom that caused a decline in the fisher that has never again reached those historic levels.

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