State officials have issued advisories for fishermen in the Tar Creek area in Ottawa County as areas downstream on the Grand and Spring rivers in northeastern Oklahoma.
The Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality has released a fish consumption advisory in reference to fish caught in waters affected by runoff from historic lead and zinc mining operations in Ottawa County.
In a DEQ news release, officials say these advisories do not mean all fish caught from these waters are unsafe to eat. Instead, the advisories provide guidelines for fishermen to make informed choices about their health and diet.
The DEQ says the primary concern is the consumption of fish containing elevated levels of lead. Chronic exposure to lead can cause health problems. Lead is known to accumulate in the bones and organs of fish.
Fish included in the advisories include Carp, Freshwater Drum, Redhorse Sucker, Smallmouth Buffalo, Black Crappie, Largemouth Bass, Spotted Bass, White Bass, White Crappie, Sunfish, Catfish and Paddle Fish.
The DEQ says most boneless fillet portions are safe to eat in normal quantities. The only exception is non-game fish from Spring River. In addition, Paddlefish and paddlefish eggs are safe to consume normal quantities.
To read the Department of Environmental Quality advisory information, click here.