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Wyoming Game and Fish offer mercury-related guidelines for eating fish

Wyoming Game and Fish offer mercury-related guidelines for eating fish

CHEYENNE – The Wyoming Department of Health and the Wyoming Game and Fish Department recently updated advice for residents to consider prior to consuming fish, including those caught in state waters. Consumption advice is updated as new information is collected on elevated mercury levels in some fish. Wyoming Game and Fish Department assistant fisheries management coordinator Mark Smith says the two departments plan to continue to update the fish consumption advisory for Wyoming caught fish as new data is obtained and analyzed. “We want to help anglers and their families make informed decisions. The consumption advisory for fish caught in Wyoming is provided to help anglers make informed choices on what they and their families should eat,” Smith said. Smith said it is important to remember that while some larger fish in some waters may contain mercury at levels that warrant reduced consumption for some people, fish are an important part of a healthy diet containing high quality protein and other essential nutrients. It has been found that mercury contamination usually increases as fish get larger and older. “Our general advice is, it is better to keep smaller fish for eating,” Smith said. “In most cases mercury levels in species such as Wyoming caught trout are relatively low, while species that prey primarily on other fish, such as walleye, sauger, burbot and bass tend to have higher levels.” Smith noted mercury advisories are nothing new as federal and state agencies have issued them for many years. New waters added to the mercury guidelines for fish consumption include: Clear Creek (near Buffalo), Crystal Reservoir, Pole Mountain Beaver Ponds, Carbon North Twin Lake (Snowy Range), Lower Green River Lake, Upper Deer Creek (near Glenrock), Viva Naughton Reservoir, North Platte River – Gray Reef Dam to Casper, and Green River upstream of Fontenelle Reservoir. In addition to these waters, new data for smallmouth bass and yellow perch from Grayrocks Reservoir, prompted more restrictive consumption advice. Anglers are advised to review the water-specific consumption advice for any waters where they plan to keep and consume fish. A complete listing of waters with mercury related guidelines for fish consumption can be found on the Game and Fish website at: http://wgfd.wyo.gov/web2011/fishing-1001093.aspx. An advisory on fish consumption can also be found on page 12 in the newest fishing regulations booklet. h/t: Marc Cisneros #shortgo