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    Vision: A Healthy Texas

    Mission: To improve health and well-being in Texas
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    Texas 211

DSHS Issues Fish Advisory for Alan Henry Reservoir

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News Release
February 3, 2010

The Texas Department of State Health Services today issued an advisory warning people to limit their consumption of blue catfish, crappie, flathead catfish, largemouth bass and spotted bass from Alan Henry Reservoir in Garza and Kent counties.

The advisory was issued after laboratory testing showed elevated levels of mercury in fish samples from the five species taken from the reservoir. Other species such as channel catfish, common carp and freshwater drum were sampled and are not included in the advisory.

Adults should limit consumption of the five fish species from Alan Henry Reservoir to no more than two 8-ounce servings per month. Children under 12 years old and women who are nursing, pregnant or who may become pregnant should not consume the five fish species from Alan Henry Reservoir.

Regular ingestion of methylmercury, 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.

Elevated levels of mercury in fish do not pose a health risk for people swimming, fishing or participating in other water recreation activities in the Alan Henry Reservoir.

Alan Henry Reservoir is a 2,884-acre body of water about 45 miles south of the City of Lubbock.

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(News Media Contact: Allison Lowery, DSHS Assistant Press Officer, 512-458-7400.)

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Last updated December 27, 2013