Health advisory placed on fish caught in Northern Nevada waters

Fishermen angling in six Northern Nevada bodies of water are advised not to eat fish from those water due to high levels of methylmercury found in fish samples.

Fish caught from the Carson River from Dayton to the Lahontan Reservoir should not be consumed, neither should fish from the reservoir itself.

According to the Nevada Department of Wildlife Web site, methylmercury is caused by bacteria and is more toxic than mercury.

In addition, white bass caught from Little Washoe Lake and Big Washoe Lake in Washoe Valley should not be eaten.

Wipers and walleye caught in Rye Patch Reservoir in Humboldt County should not be consumed, nor should any fish from that reservoir that weighs more than 8 ounces.

Walleye from Chimney Dam Reservoir, also in Humboldt County should not be eaten.

Largemouth bass or pike taken from Comins Lake in White Pine County should also not be consumed.

Nevada State Health Officer Dr. Bradford Lee said his agency has been working with the state Department of Wildlife and the state Division of Environmental Protection to identify risk of mercury poisoning from fish.

The Nevada Department of Wildlife collected samples from edible fish in 39 recreational waters in the past 18 months. Initial results showed that Lahontan Reservoir, Comins Lake, Chimney Dam Reservoir, Rye Patch Reservoir and Little Washoe Lake had multiple fish species with a mercury level at 1.0 parts per million.

The sampling was funded by the federal Environmental Protection Agency.

The Nevada Division of Environmental Protection did an analysis of water quality in the bodies of water found them safe for other recreational uses.

All 10 game fish taken from Lahontan Reservoir had mercury levels that averaged 1.0 ppm or greater. Of those, one 17-pound wiper had a mercury level of 8.28 ppm. Four of five white bass at Little Washoe Lake averaged greater than 1.0 ppm mercury.

• Contact reporter Karen Woodmansee at or 882-2111 ext. 351.

Fish to avoid

• All types from Lahontan Reservoir

• All types from the Carson River from Dayton east to the reservoir

• White bass from Little and Big Washoe lakes in Washoe Valley

• Wiper and walleye, or any fish weighing more than 8 ounces from Rye Patch Reservoir

• Walleye from Chimney Dam Reservoir

• Largemouth bass and pike from Comins Lake.

On the Net

Nevada State Health Division:

Nevada Division of Wildlife:

Nevada Division of Environmental Protection:


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