SACRAMENTO, July 6, 2017 – A new state fish advisory, issued today, provides safe eating advice for five species of fish from New Bullards Bar Reservoir in Yuba County.
The California Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) developed the recommendations based on the levels of mercury measured in fish from New Bullards Bar Reservoir, which is located approximately 30 miles northeast of Yuba City.
“Many fish have nutrients that may reduce the risk of heart disease and are an excellent source of protein,” said Dr. Lauren Zeise, director of OEHHA. “By following our guidelines, people can safely eat fish low in chemical contaminants and enjoy the well-known health benefits of fish consumption.”
When consuming fish from New Bullards Bar Reservoir, women ages 18-45 and children ages 1-17 may safely eat two servings per week of Kokanee Salmon, Rainbow Trout, or sunfish species. They should not eat black bass species or carp.
Women age 46 and older and men age 18 and older may safely eat six servings per week of Rainbow Trout, or five servings per week of Kokanee Salmon or sunfish species, or one serving per week of black bass species or carp.
One serving is eight ounces, measured prior to cooking. For fish fillets, eight ounces is roughly the size and thickness of your hand. Children should be given smaller servings.
Mercury is a naturally occurring metal that is released into the environment from mining and burning coal. It accumulates in fish in the form of methylmercury, which can damage the brain and nervous system, especially in developing children and fetuses.
Eating fish in amounts slightly greater than the advisory’s recommendations is not likely to cause health problems if it is done occasionally, such as eating fish caught during an annual vacation.
The New Bullards Bar Reservoir recommendations join more than 80 other OEHHA advisories that provide site-specific, health-based fish consumption advice for many of the places where people catch and eat fish in California, including lakes, rivers, bays, reservoirs, and the California coast.
The health advisory and eating advice for New Bullards Bar Reservoir – as well as eating guidelines for other fish species and California bodies of water – are available on OEHHA’s Fish Advisories webpage: http://www.oehha.ca.gov/fish/advisories. Pictorial versions of the fish consumption advice are also available on that page in both English and Spanish.
OEHHA is the primary state entity for the assessment of risks posed by chemical contaminants in the environment. Its mission is to protect and enhance public health and the environment by scientific evaluation of risks posed by hazardous substances.