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AQCP Case Studies

Mercury Case Study:
The Case of the "Lost" Lake

Lost Lake

"Nimaamaa, he's here, he's here!" you shout to your mom. "Nimishoomis is here to take me on the fishing trip!"

You are very excited to go fishing with your grandfather Eli. You are planning to leave the Leech Lake Ojibwe reservation to go to a lake past Grand Rapids. It would be a great day!

"Hi, Jared. Are you ready?" asks your grandfather.

"I sure am!"

"Well, then, let's go!"

You get into the truck with your grandfather and begin the long drive. "I haven't been fishing at this lake since my grandfather took me there when I was just your age," says Eli. "I remember catching so many fish that we couldn't keep all of them. There were fish everywhere. And I remember the water in the lake being so clear. You're going to love this place, Jared. It is very special."

"Oh, boy. I can't wait!" you reply.

On the way to the lake, you notice a big industrial plant. "I don't remember that being there," says your grandfather. "Let's see what it is."

He turns onto the driveway and drives up to the main entrance. The sign reads, "Clay Boswell Energy Center."

Eli turns the truck around to leave the power plant and drives for another 15 minutes to the lake.

"Get the fishing gear together, Jared, and get ready to catch some great fish!"

So, you and your grandfather spend the afternoon fishing in the lake. You both have a lot of luck and you fill the cooler with walleyes, trout, bass, and pike.

"Oh, Nimishoomis, this was great! Look at all the fish we caught!"

"Ombay omaa. It's making me hungry just looking in there! Let's get on home so your mom can cook up a great dinner for us."

Back in the truck, Eli drives away from the lake. On the way home, you stop at the store to pick up some groceries for the evening's meal. At the store you see Eli's friend Sam Morris, who works in the tribal department of resource management. "Sam, come look at all the fish we caught over by Grand Rapids," suggests Eli.

Sam replies, "If you caught those over in that special lake where we fished as children, then you shouldn't eat them."

Why did Sam say that? What can you do about it?




Northern Arizona University Institute for Tribal Environmental Professionals

EEOP Staff
Environmental Education Outreach Program (EEOP)
Institute for Tribal Environmental Professionals (ITEP)
PO Box 5768
Flagstaff, AZ 86011-5768
Phone: (928) 523-1275
Fax: (928) 523-1280
E-mail: eeop@nau.edu

Last updated: May 26, 2005