BUFFALO, N.Y. — Despite the cold weather Wednesday, some still found their way out to the Niagara River to do a little fishing. While some do it for sport, others eat the fish they catch.
What some don't know is that fish that live in these waters aren't always safe to eat.
"The smaller fish are OK to eat, but when you get into the bigger carp and catfish and stuff, they’re loaded because they're older and bigger and their fat deposits are filled with these toxins," said Jethro Soudant, Buffalo State student.
The toxins mentioned are chemicals left in the sediment from years of pollution during the city's industrial age.
"People polluted, because there weren't regulations once upon a time and it's disgusting people did that, but they left it for future generations," said Joseph Golombek, Buffalo Common Council member.
Those future generations include a large number of immigrants and refugees, people that came to Buffalo without a complete understanding of the English language or the city's history.
"They don't speak the language, work opportunities are limited, they're used to a place where they can fish for substantive purposes," said Soudant.
Soudant, an avid fisherman, says he's noticed those same people fishing, not knowing the potential health risks.
As a part of a school project, he brought the issue up to Golombek.
Now the two are working to bring informational signage to areas of the Niagara River.
"Not only for refugees, but low literacy U.S. citizens just to warn them of the dangers of the fish here," said Soudant.
“The neighborhoods are becoming more diverse than they were, especially with language. I want to put up signs in the language of the people that are using the parks," said Golombek.
Golombek proposed the idea at Tuesday's Common Council Meeting, although it's still unclear what languages will be included on the signage. He calls the proposal "common sense," and believes signs will go up as soon as the weather warms up.