Fish Advisory for Millerton Lake in Fresno and Madera Counties Offers Safe Eating Advice

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
SAM DELSON
(916) 324-0955 (O)
(916) 764-0955 (C)

SACRAMENTO – A state fish advisory issued today for Millerton Lake in Fresno and Madera counties provides safe eating advice for black bass species, Goldfish, and sunfish species.

The California Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) developed the recommendations based on the levels of mercury found in fish caught from the lake.

“Many fish have nutrients that may reduce the risk of heart disease and are excellent sources of protein,” said Dr. Lauren Zeise, director of OEHHA. “By following our guidelines for fish caught in Millerton Lake, people can safely eat fish low in chemical contaminants and enjoy the well-known health benefits of fish consumption.”

Millerton Lake is located approximately 20 miles northeast of Fresno, near the town of Friant, and straddles the border between Fresno and Madera counties.

When consuming fish from Millerton Lake, women ages 18-49 and children ages 1-17 may safely eat a maximum of two total servings per week of Goldfish or sunfish species, or one serving per week of black bass species.

Women ages 50 and older and men ages 18 and older may safely eat a maximum of seven total servings per week of Goldfish or sunfish species, or two servings per week of black bass species.

One serving is an eight-ounce fish fillet, measured prior to cooking, which is roughly the size and thickness of your hand. Children should be given smaller servings. For small fish species, several individual fish may make up a single serving. 

A poster with the safe-eating advice for Millerton Lake is available on the website in both English and Spanish. For fish species found in Millerton Lake that are not included in this advisory, OEHHA recommends following the statewide advisory for eating fish from California lakes and reservoirs without site-specific advice.

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. Because of this, OEHHA provides a separate set of recommendations specifically for children up to age 17, and women of childbearing age (18-49 years).

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 Millerton Lake advisory recommendations join more than 100 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. A separate advisory is available for the lower San Joaquin River between Millerton Lake and the Port of Stockton.

The advisory advice for Millerton Lake – as well as eating guidelines for other fish species in California bodies of water – are available on OEHHA’s Fish Advisories webpage.

OEHHA’s mission is to protect and enhance the health of Californians and our state’s environment through scientific evaluations that inform, support, and guide regulatory and other actions.

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Fish, Ecotoxicology and Water Section

Sacramento Office
1001 I Street
Sacramento, CA 95814
Phone: (916) 423-7572
fish@oehha.ca.gov

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