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Warning against eating fish from some Oklahoma lakes

While making plans with your family, the Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality wants you to know that you should eat fish from some Oklahoma lakes.

Several have been added to the list of lakes with mercury usage warnings.

Ten Oklahoma Lakes, including Bixhoma in Bixby, Okmulgee and Dripping Springs near Okmulgee, and Sahoma in Sapulpa, are now on the list of fish consumption warnings.

"We expanded our mercury and fish program and were able to try more lakes," said Erin Hatfield of the Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality. "So there are more lakes that have been warned."

Hatfield said it is important to know that the fish is being tested, not the water.

"You can feel perfectly safe going or sailing to these lakes and hoses, but it's a problem with the mercury that accumulates in the fish tissue," said Hatfield.

Some lakes that the DEQ has tested do not show mercury problems like Hugo Lake, where there are no restrictions on how much fish you can eat under seven inches in length.

"But for the sensitive population, we only recommend two meals a month if this black trash is seven inches long or longer," said Hatfield.

Women of childbearing age and children up to the age of 14 belong to the sensitive population.

But Hatfield said it was still safe for them to continue eating fish from the lakes as long as they followed the recommended guidelines.

"Our primary focus was to ensure that people have these pointers and that they have these recommendations so they can make smart decisions while fishing in our lakes here in Oklahoma," said Hatfield.

In the coming weeks, DEQ will be making brochures available to the public with all the lakes listed in the notice so you can make informed decisions about the foods you eat.

Source/ kjrh news