Watch out for sick fish

Report highlights risks of eating California’s sport fish

The results of a recent two-year survey of California’s lakes and reservoirs highlighted mercury and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) as the two greatest concerns when it comes to human consumption of sport fish, such as trout, catfish and bass, according to a California Environmental Protection Agency press release.

The survey, the largest ever conducted on California’s waters, found that 21 percent of 122 lakes surveyed in 2008 and 150 lakes sampled in 2007 contained at least one fish species with an average mercury level that exceeded the Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) threshold of recommended consumption for children and women of childbearing age.

PCBs—toxic chemicals that can cause cancer and liver damage—were the second greatest concern. However, only 1 percent of the lakes tested exceeded OEHHA’s threshold.

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