From East Bay MUD
MERCURY PRECAUTIONS FOR FISH AT CAMANCHE & PARDEE RESERVOIRS
Possibly harmful levels of mercury have been found in some fish at Camanche and Pardee Reservoirs. Fish that tested at high levels at Camanche Reservoir include bluegill, channel and hard head catfish, crappie, carp and largemouth bass. Some channel catfish and largemouth bass at Pardee Reservoir also tested at high levels. Mercury has been identified in certain fish species from many of the waters of California, with most of it coming from past gold mining.
Fish in California waters take in mercury as they feed. The main way people get mercury is through eating the fish. Fish are part of a healthy diet. But people need to limit the type and amount of fish that are eaten. It is important for pregnant or nursing women, women of childbearing age, and young children to limit eating fish. Mercury can affect the unborn baby or young child’s developing nervous system.
The public health departments of Amador, Calaveras, and San Joaquin counties and the East Bay Municipal Utility District (EBMUD) advise the public to follow general fish eating precautions published by the California Environmental Protection Agency:
FISH EATING PRECAUTIONS*
*Women 18-45 Years, Pregnant & Nursing Women*
*Children under Age 18 Years*
Limit eating freshwater fish to one meal a week
One meal = 6 ounces of cooked fish or 8 ounces of uncooked fish for an adult.
One meal = 2 ounces of cooked fish or 3 ounces of uncooked fish for a child.
Limit eating freshwater fish to two meals a week.
Eat less predatory fish [bass] and bottom feeding fish [catfish and carp] that are likely
to have higher levels of mercury.
Rainbow Trout & Kokanee are usually safest to eat.
Eat smaller fish (within the legal size) – they have less mercury.
Eat fish from a variety of locations around lakes, reservoirs or rivers.
Clean fish before cooking, eat only muscle or fillet – throw away guts, liver & skin.
Source: CA Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment – Methylmercury in Sport Fish: Information for Fish Consumers
For more information, visit the recreation area concession and EBMUD Watershed and Recreation offices for printed brochures, or visit these web sites:
California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment: www.oehha.ca.gov/fish/hg
East Bay Municipal Utility District: www.ebmud.com
Amador County: www.co.amador.ca.us/depts/public_health/
Calaveras County: www.calaveraspublichealth.com
EBMUD would like to assure visitors to Pardee and Camanche that mercury levels in these reservoirs meets U.S. Environmental Protection Agency water quality criteria and the drinking water meets or is better than California Department of Public Health requirements.