June 17, 2024

High Mercury, Dioxin Levels Prompt Texas Fish Advisory

High mercury and dioxin levels in fish from the Neches River Basin have prompted the Texas Department of State Health Services to issue a consumer advisory. Six species are named in the advisory which covers the Sam Rayburn Reservoir, the B.A. Steinhagen Reservoir and the stretch of river between the State Highway 7 bridge west of Lufkin and the Highway 96 bridge near Evadale.

Seafood AssortmentEating fish with elevated levels of mercury or dioxin can cause illness. Children under 12 and women who are nursing, pregnant or who may become pregnant are at special risk for mercury and dioxin in food as these toxins can affect the nervous systems of unborn and young children. Swimming in these waters should not pose a health risk, authorities said.

Women of childbearing age and children 12 and under should not eat the following fish: blue catfish longer than 30 inches; flathead catfish; gar; largemouth bass longer than 16 inches; smallmouth buffalo;  and spotted bass greater than 16 inches in length. Women past childbearing age and adult men should: not eat smallmouth buffalo; limit consumption of flathead catfish and gar to one, 8-oz serving per month and limit consumption of blue catfish, and spotted or largemouth longer than 16 inches to two 8-oz servings per month.


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