Jackson County lake area labeled unsafe for fish consumption

JACKSON COUNTY, Ala . - The Alabama Department of Public Health released this year's fish consumption advisory, and unfortunately anglers in North Jackson County need to take caution. There's an area of the Tennessee Valley that's producing contaminated bass.

"It's important for us to warn the anglers that are out there fishing that northern part of the lake in Bridgeport to not carry those fish home," said JP Parsons, director of tourism.

Officials tested high levels of mercury in the bass found in the Widow's Creek area near the northern part of the county. "Mercury is a deadly chemical and it's a contaminate to the fish," said Parsons. "Even though it's in a limited area of the lake, everyone has to exert a lot of safety whenever they eat any fish taken out of the lake."

ADPH says fish can become contaminated from a variety things like erosion, stormwater runoff, or even industrial charges. They're advising those fishing in that area to consume no more than eight ounces of bass a month. "We'd like to make a warning to all anglers that this a catch and release type situation."

While it's encouraged not to eat the bass in this area altogether, anglers are more than welcome to continue their fishing for sport.

For a full report of the Fish Consumption Advisory, click here for a list organized by counties.