Mercury Concentrations in Fish from Lake Meredith, Texas: Implications for the Issuance of Fish Consumption Advisories
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We examined how length of fish is related to mercury concentrations in muscle tissue of seven species of fish from Lake Meredith, Texas and determined how sex and growth rate are related to mercury concentration in walleye (Sander vitreus). Flathead catfish (Pylodictis olivaris), walleye and white bass (Morone chrysops) had the highest concentrations of mercury and channel catfish (Ictalurus punctatus), common carp (Cyprinus carpio), river carpsucker (Carpiodes carpio) and gizzard shad (Dorosoma cepedianum) had the lowest concentrations of mercury. Mercury concentrations were positively correlated with total length (TL) of fish for all species except gizzard shad, which exhibited a negative correlation between mercury concentration and TL. Male walleye grew more slowly than females, and males had higher concentrations of mercury than females. We also assessed the differences in fish consumption advisories that would be issued using Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) guidelines versus United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) recommendations. Using DSHS guidelines, no fish species in Lake Meredith would be issued a fish consumption advisory. Nevertheless, DSHS has issued an advisory for walleye in Lake Meredith, possibly due to an inadequate sample size of fish. Using USEPA guidelines, a fish consumption advisory would be issued for the largest size class of flathead catfish but no advisory exists for flathead catfish in Lake Meredith. We suggest that when fish in a lake may be contaminated with mercury, all game fish in the lake should be assessed, and mercury advisories should take fish size into account.
Keywordsfish fish consumption advisory mercury
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