AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) – The Texas Department of State Health Services issued fish consumption advisories for lakes across the Lone Star State as the weather warms and the fishing season gets rolling, including for Lake Meredith. These advisories, and sometimes bans, can be issued in reference to a number of chemicals that may be a threat to human health.

As noted in its list of bans and advisories, the TDSHS recommends limiting the consumption of fish from Lake Meredith in Hutchinson County, Moore County, and Potter County, due to the presence of mercury contamination.

Lake Meredith is home to a number of fish species including walleye, smallmouth and largemouth bass, white bass, white crappie, and channel and flathead catfish. In detail, the TDSHS said that people should monitor their consumption of walleye:

  • Adults should not consume more than two 8-ounce meals per month; and
  • Children should not consume more than two 4-ounce meals per month.

The United States Environmental Protection Agency has described mercury as a neurotoxin that can impact people’s health in a number of ways, depending on the form and amount of mercury involved and the age of the person exposed. Methylmercury is the most common form found in fish and shellfish, which can have negative effects on the health of people of all ages and impact the cognitive thinking, memory, language, and fine motor skills of children exposed while in the womb.

The EPA noted that possible symptoms of methylmercury poisoning may include:

  • Loss of peripheral vision;
  • “Pins and needles” feelings, often in the hands, feet, and around the mouth;
  • Lack of coordination;
  • Speech, hearing, or walking impairments; and
  • Muscle weakness.

The EPA published further guidelines for eating fish that may contain mercury, and further information on fish consumption bans and advisories can be found through the TDSHS Seafood and Aquatic Life group or by calling 512-834-6757.

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