Mercury hits dangerous level in waterways, fish

Posted on October 29, 2012 by


Utah state officials on October 25 issued an advisory regarding elevated mercury levels found in striped bass in two southern Utah bodies of water. The warning includes fish in Lake Powell from Dangling Rope Marina, south to the dam in Kane and San Juan counties, and Quail Creek Reservoir in Washington County. The advisory also came with revised consumption guidelines. Mercury is a naturally occurring element that can be transformed into methylmercury, a toxic form found in some natural waters. Chronic exposure to low concentrations of methylmercury may result in neurological effects in developing fetuses and children. Previous sampling of mercury had found elevated levels in brown trout at Jordanelle and Porcupine reservoirs, Weber and Duchesne rivers, and the east fork of the Sevier River. Other species of fish in Utah found to have elevated mercury include rainbow trout, wiper, and smallmouth bass. Since 2000, fish in 322 water bodies in Utah have been tested for mercury. Fish with elevated levels of mercury have been found in 21 of the 322 waterbodies.


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