The Sierra Fund’s science team is venturing into the world of fishing in the name of public health. Science Director, Dr. Carrie Monohan, tells KNCO that The Sierra Fund is working with a state agency to collect data about Mercury levels in edible fish in Nevada County waters. The Mercury was introduced into the environment via mining operations during the Gold Rush.
The California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment issues fish consumption advisories for individual fish species at California water bodies. DR. Monohan says OEHHA only issues a fish advisory if there is sufficient fish tissue data.
The Sierra Fund is taking the initiative to work with OEHHA to fill these critical data gaps at local water bodies.
Sixteen fish is the required number of fish to insure a 95% confidence rating in the data. Monohan uses Rollins Reservoir as an example. There is already a fish advisory in effect for catfish in Rollins Reservoir. Monohan says sixteen bass and sixteen trout are needed from Rollins.
Fish need to meet legal size limits so the sample is reflective of the fish people eat.
An issue facing OHEEA and The Sierra Fund is cost. Gathering data on mercury levels in fish is expensive.
The Sierra Fund is attempting to raise $7,500 over the next month to cover the costs of having the fish tissue analyzed in order to be used as official public health information.
For more information visit… sierrafund.org
To donate to the Fish Sampling Project go to….. rally.org/WhatsInMyFish