First fish consumption advisory issued at Applegate Lake

, Written by Kyle Aevermann, Posted: Thu, June 26 2014 at 6:19 PM, Updated: Thu, June 26 2014 at 9:54 PM

Applegate Lake, Ore. -- For the first time in Applegate Lake's history, the Oregon Health Authority issues an advisory about high mercury levels in some of the fish.

"The mercury is probably not new but this is the first time we've had data showing that's a problem," said Oregon Health Authority Toxicologist Dave Farrer.

The Oregon Health Authority issued the warning Thursday, asking those who consume fish from Applegate Lake to lessen their consumption.

"Bass, bluegill, and black crappie, based on those mercury, concentrations, that were measured, we are recommending some meal restrictions on those species of fish," Farrer said.

The O.H.A. recommends not eating more than 5  large bass meals and 13 pan-fish meals per month.

But pregnant woman and children need to eat substantially less. The health authority suggests they eat no more than 2 bass meals and 4 meals of pan-fish a month.

kristin Salamone, a nurse at Providence Hospital in Medford says pregnant and breast feeding mothers, along with children should avoid the fish all together.

"It does have adverse effects on cognitive developments in babies, and their motor skills," said Salamone.

But if you chance it or  even stay in the recommended amounts,  there are possible side effects to know about.

"They'll get pins and needles sensation, they'll also muscle weakness, trouble hearing, trouble walking possibly," she said.

Salamone says if you feel any of those symptoms, call your doctor immediately.

Despite the O.H.A.'s announcement, employees at the general store at Applegate Lake say they aren't too concerned about the restrictions.

They point out that the  majority of the fish in the lake are trout, which have been deemed safe to eat.   

To learn more about which fish you can and can't eat, follow the links below.

http://www.nrdc.org/health/effects/mercury/guide.asp

http://public.health.oregon.gov/HealthyEnvironments/Recreation/FishConsumption/Pages/index.aspx 

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About the Author

Kyle Aevermann

Kyle Aevermann reports weekdays and anchors NBC 5 News Weekends. He joined NBC 5 News in March 2012 as a morning producer and reporter. Prior to joining KOBI, Kyle interned at KISL-FM on Catalina Island, CA. He was also a regular contributor to CNN's citizen journalism program.

Originally from the Chicago-land area, Kyle moved to the Pacific Northwest in 2009 to work in the social media industry. Kyle enjoys hiking, traveling, learning about cultures, and has a serious love for food.

Catch Kyle anchoring weekends on NBC 5 News at 6pm and 11pm.

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