MONTICELLO (AGFC) – The Arkansas Department of Health has lifted a fish mercury advisory for all largemouth bass, blue catfish and flathead catfish consumed from Lake Monticello. The advisory had been in place since 1998.
The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality and Arkansas Department of Health have collected, sampled and analyzed largemouth bass samples from Lake Monticello. ADH has determined that largemouth bass, blue catfish and flathead catfish from Lake Monticello no longer contain mercury concentrations above levels of public health concern. Consumption of largemouth bass, blue catfish and flathead catfish caught in Lake Monticello is considered safe.
Beginning in 2010, the AGFC began to readdress the mercury issue in Arkansas to see if anything had changed. Beginning in April 2011, fisheries biologists began collecting fish from Lake Monticello. The fish were then sent to ADEQ for testing. In June, ADEQ completed their analysis of the fish. The mercury concentrations of the fish samples were all below the action level of 1.0 parts per million.
In the future, the lake will be sampled periodically to make sure that the mercury levels are still within acceptable limits.
For more information, contact: Arkansas Department of Health, Environmental Epidemiology, 4815 West Markham Street, Slot 32; Little Rock, AR 72205 or by phone at 501-280-4433.