Mercury Warning for Northern Nevada Caught Fish

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Mercury Warning for Northern Nevada Caught Fish

There has been a health advisory issued by multiple state departments in Nevada regarding consumption of fish caught from many Northern Nevada water ways. The Nevada Department of Wildlife (NDOW), Nevada Division of Environmental Protection (NDEP) and the Nevada State Health Division, have been working to identify what, if any, potential health risks are present by monitoring methylmercury in fish from around the state.

Methylmercury in 7 Nevada Waterways

Many waterways around Nevada, including lakes, reservoirs, ponds, and rivers, contain mercury. In these bodies of water bacteria convert mercury into methylmercury in sediments. When a larger fish consumes a smaller fish the methymercury moves its way up the food chain, eventually ending up in top predators. Due to the volume of methylmercury consumed by top predatory fish the concentration in their muscle tissues are of great concern to these health and wildlife authorities. Especially as larger, predatory fish grow in age, and continue to consume smaller fish their concentration of methylmercury continues to climb to concerning levels.

Through the collection of sport fish species and analysis of these species a warning has been issued to not consume various fish from seven northern Nevada waters due to the elevated mercury levels found.

No Consumption Warnings in Northern Nevada

  • ANY fish from Carson River from Dayton downstream to Lahontan Reservoir, including the reservoir itself
  • White Bass from Little Washoe & Big Washoe Lakes
  • Wipers & Walleye (and only one 8 oz meal per months from all other fish) from Rye Patch Reservoir
  • Walleye from Chimney Dam Reservoir
  • Largemouth Bass & Northern Pike from Comins Lake

While authorities were quick to point out that anglers should enjoy fishing throughout Nevada they strongly urge people to pay attention these health advisories, especially expectant mothers, nursing mothers, and children.