The State of Georgia recommends only eating one meal a month of largemouth bass and one meal a week of redbreast and channel catfish from the Ogeechee and Canoochee Rivers due to high mercury levels.
In 2004 we worked with volunteers to collect fish from the Canoochee River to determine the levels of mercury in the fish. The results from this sample collection confirmed the state’s recommendations.
Six out of 7 (over 85%) of the largemouth bass in the Canoochee River had mercury levels twice what the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says is safe for people to eat.
The redbreast fared somewhat better with 4 out of 10 (40%) of the redbreast having mercury levels at or above what the EPA says is safe to eat. Every single fish that we caught had detectable levels of mercury in it. (Click here to download a graph from the fish collection).
In 2009, volunteers once again helped us collect fish from the Canoochee and this time we added the Ogeehcee and coastal sites as well. Results are available at www.mercury-free-families.com.
Last updated on August 23, 2011 by Ogeechee Riverkeeper