Mercury Advisory at Roosevelt Lake and Lake Pleasant for Bass and Catfish; Kids Under 6 Shouldn't Eat Catch

Three state agencies put out a serious-sounding mercury advisory today for fishermen using Roosevelt Lake and Lake Pleasant, the state's biggest lakes.

Troubling levels of mercury have been found in largemouth bass and channel catfish (pictured below) at Roosevelt, and in largemouth bass at Lake Pleasant, according to an announcement today by the the state agencies of Game and Fish, Health Services and Environmental Quality. Kids under age 6 shouldn't eat these fish at all from the lakes, and adults should limit their intake to one or two fish meals a month.

Excerpts from the DEQ's news release:

The inclusion of Lake Pleasant, north of Phoenix in Maricopa County, and Roosevelt Lake, northwest of Globe in Gila County, brings the total number of lakes in Arizona affected by fish consumption advisories for mercury to 13.

... The latest advisory does not limit use of the lakes for fishing, bird watching, swimming or other recreational uses. The ADEQ has taken a conservative approach in assessing the risks associated with eating fish from the lakes. In addition, there is no limit on eating sunfish, such as black crappie, bluegill, green sunfish and red-ear from either lake.


In addition to Lake Pleasant and Roosevelt Lake, fish consumption advisories remain in place for the following water bodies in Arizona: Arivaca Lake, Alamo Lake, Parker Canyon Lake, Upper Lake Mary, Lower Lake Mary, Lyman Lake, Pena Blanca Lake, Coors Lake, Soldier Lake, Soldier Annex Lake and Long Lake.

See ADEQ's Web site for more information.

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Ray Stern has worked as a newspaper reporter in Arizona for more than two decades. He's won numerous awards for his reporting, including the Arizona Press Club's Don Bolles Award for Investigative Journalism.