Could Montana Brown Trout Have a Meth Problem?
Are you running low on wacky things to worry and wonder about? Well, we got word of a dandy, especially for you Montana anglers.
Angela Montana, digital editor for the Montana Outdoor Radio Show website, directed us toward an article researching the possibility that methamphetamine in the waterways may be turning trout into addicts. Brown trout can become addicted to meth when it accumulates in waterways, according to new research.
The study was led by a behavioral ecologist from the Czech University of Life Sciences in Prague, investigating whether illicit drugs like methamphetamine alter fish behavior at levels found in bodies of water. The study was published this week.
The team put 40 brown trout in a tank of water, containing a level of methamphetamine that has actually been found in freshwater rivers, for a period of eight weeks, before transferring them to a clean tank. Then every other day the researchers checked whether the trout were suffering from meth withdrawal by giving them a choice between water containing the drug or water without. Another 40 trout were used as a control group.
Trout that had spent eight weeks in water containing methamphetamine selected water containing the drug in the four days after moving to freshwater. This indicates they were suffering withdrawal because they sought out the drug when it became available. The team found that addicted fish were less active than those that had never been exposed to methamphetamine, and found traces of the drug in their brains up to 10 days after exposure. The team concluded that even low levels of illicit drugs in bodies of water can affect the animals that live in them.
Okay, so how did they get their "fix"? And here you might not want to be eating anything. Drugs excreted from users pass through sewage systems and then discharge from wastewater treatment plants, which are not designed to treat this kind of contamination, into waterways, according to the study. The research team says fish are sensitive to adverse effects of many neurologically active drugs from alcohol to cocaine and can develop drug addiction related to the dopamine reward pathway in a similar manner as humans.
Geez, mercury wasn't bad enough? Meth: Not Even Once, Brown Trout. Not Even Once.
The article is credited to Jack Guy with CNN.
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