Fish Advisory Issued

Elevated mercury levels have been found in two Panola County lakes. Hills Lake and Clear Lake are north of Carthage. The state health department is warning people to limit their consumption of drum and largemouth bass from the lakes. Bowfin from Clear Lake are also part of the warning. There is no risk of mercury poisoning from fishing skiing or swimming in the lakes.

'Adults and children 12 and older are advised to eat no more than two 8-ounce servings per month.   Children under 12 should eat no more than two 4-ounce servings per month. Pregnant women, women who could become pregnant and mothers who are breastfeeding are advised not to eat any of the freshwater drum and largemouth bass from the lakes or bowfin from Clear Lake. No other species of fish from the two lakes are included in the warning.

Regular ingestion of methyl mercury, the mercury compound in the fish, can harm the human brain and nervous system.   Young children are especially at risk.   The brain and nervous system in a developing fetus can be permanently damaged if the mother-to-be eats foods containing elevated levels of mercury during pregnancy.

Mercury is a naturally occurring element that gets into air and water from the weathering of the earth's crust, from the burning of fossil fuels and from some industrial discharges and emissions.