Microplastics are very small plastic particles, less than 5 millimeters (or 1/20th of an inch) in size. They come from common items such as degraded plastic bags, synthetic clothes and textiles, some hygiene products, and cigarette filters. Research is currently being done to learn how much and what kinds of microplastics are found in four Minnesota sentinel lakes: Peltier, Elk, White Iron, and Ten Mile. So far, plastics have been found in the waters and on the bottom of the lake in the sediment of all four study lakes.
In the fall of 2020, researchers will begin dissecting two types of fish to see if there are any plastics in their guts: 1) filter feeders (cisco) and 2) visual feeders (bluegill and perch). Anglers can submit fish stomachs throughout the year for research staff to dissect and analyze for any microplastic consumption.
White Iron Lake Angler Volunteers Urgently Needed
The Research Team is ready to receive fish stomachs from anglers who want to contribute to the project! They are looking for anglers who can commit to sending 10 fish gut samples from White Iron Lake in 2020. Additional information on how to process, including stomach & intestine removal noting how to keep the organs intact, how to prepare and package for shipment, and where to ship samples is located at www.mnplastics.org in an easy how to video.
Samples are mailed to: Large Lakes Observatory, 2205 E 5th St., Duluth MN 55812.