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Louisiana Department of Health
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Mercury and Fish Advisories Issued for Nine Waterways

For Release On:

July 27, 2018

Baton Rouge: The Louisiana Departments of Health, Environmental Quality and Wildlife and Fisheries today issued a series of fish consumption advisories for nine bodies of water. These most recent advisories include one new warning and updates to eight previously issued warnings.

The State issues precautionary advisories when unacceptable levels of mercury are detected in fish or shellfish.

The Department of Environmental Quality conducts fish sampling. LDH then uses this data to determine the need for additional advisories or to modify existing advisories. Each advisory lists the specific fish, makes consumption recommendations and outlines the geographic boundaries of the affected waterways.

 

Water Body

Location

Advisory Details

Two O’clock Bayou *

 

From Louisiana Highway 190 in St. Landry Parish to Craft Lake, includes Cowan Bay, Close Lake, and Craft Lake.

Women of childbearing age and children less than seven years of age should consume no more than TWO MEALS ** PER MONTH of largemouth bass and bowfin combined.

Bayou des Cannes

 

From its origin near Ville Platte in Evangeline Parish to where it enters the Mermentau River.

Women of childbearing age and children less than seven years of age should consume no more than ONE MEAL PER MONTH of bowfin, crappie, largemouth bass and freshwater drum combined from the advisory area.

Chicot Lake

 

Evangeline Parish.

Women of childbearing age and children less than seven years of age should consume no more than TWO MEALS PER MONTH of black crappie, bowfin and largemouth bass combined.

Cocodrie Lake

 

Includes Cocodrie Lake in Evangeline and Rapides parishes.

Women of childbearing age and children less than seven years of age should consume no more than SIX MEALS PER YEAR of bowfin OR no more than ONE MEAL PER MONTH of black crappie, warmouth, bluegill sunfish, big mouth buffalo and largemouth bass combines.

Other adults and children seven years of age or older should consume no more than TWO MEALS PER MONTH of bowfin OR no more than THREE MEALS PER MONTH of black crappie and largemouth bass combined.

Crooked Creek Reservoir

 

Evangeline Parish

Women of childbearing age and children less than seven years of age should consume no more than ONE MEAL PER MONTH of largemouth bass and bowfin combined.

Henderson Lake

 

Includes Henderson Lake, Lake Bigeux, and all waters within the area bounded on the north by the St. Landry/St. Martin Parish Line, on the east by the West Atchafalaya River levee (or Hwy. 3177), on the south by Hwy. 3177 and on the west by the West Atchafalaya Basin levee.

Women of childbearing age and children less than seven years of age should consume no more than TWO MEALS PER MONTH of largemouth bass and bowfin combined.

Bayou Plaquemine Brule

 

This area includes Bayou Plaquemine Brule from its origin near Opelousas in St. Landry Parish to where it enters the Mermentau River. 

Women of childbearing age and children less than seven years of age should consume no more than ONE MEAL PER MONTH of bowfin, largemouth bass, crappie, flathead catfish and freshwater drum combined from the advisory area.

Bayou Queue de Tortue

 

From its headwaters near Cankton, Louisiana to its confluence with the Mermentau River east of Lake Arthur, Louisiana. 

Women of childbearing age and children less than seven years of age should consume no more than ONE MEAL PER MONTH of bowfin and largemouth bass combined OR no more than TWO MEALS PER MONTH of crappie, warmouth, bluegill sunfish and freshwater drum combined.

Seventh Ward Canal

 

Vermillion Parish

Women of childbearing age and children less than seven years of age should consume no more than ONE MEAL PER MONTH of bowfin OR no more than TWO MEALS PER MONTH of largemouth bass, flathead catfish, white crappie and freshwater drum combined.

 

* Two O’clock Bayou is the new advisory, all others are updates

** A meal is considered to be half a pound of fish for adults and children

The full text for each advisory are posted online at www.ldh.la.gov/EatSafeFish or by calling toll-free: 1-888-293-7020.

Because of mercury contamination, there are now fish consumption advisories for 48 waterways in Louisiana and one for the Gulf of Mexico

Louisiana fish consumption advisories are based on the estimate that the average resident eats four meals of fish per month (one meal = ½ pound). Consuming more than this from local water bodies may increase health risks.

Mercury is an element that occurs naturally in the environment. Consequently, there are small amounts of mercury in the sediments of streams, lakes, rivers and oceans. Nearly all fish contain trace amounts of mercury. They absorb mercury as they feed on aquatic organisms. Larger predator fish contain more mercury than smaller fish. It is recommended that smaller fish be consumed instead of larger ones.

Dr. Jimmy Guidry, State Health Officer, said people are exposed to low levels of mercury throughout their lives.

"Eating contaminated fish is one way we are exposed to mercury. Health effects from harmful levels of mercury can include nervous system and kidney damage," Guidry said. "Young children and developing fetuses are more sensitive to the toxic effects of mercury. Therefore, consumption advisories are issued at lower fish tissue concentrations for women of childbearing age and children under seven years of age."


 
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