Higher mercury levels in fish have been rising nationwide prompting Wyoming to update its Fish Consumption Advisory.
It's well known that fish are a good source of protein and omega fatty acids, but the Wyoming Game and Fish and Wyoming Department of Health are finding too much of it could be unsafe.
"The mercury level in certain species of fish in certain bodies of water is high enough to contain human health risks," said Wendy Braund, State Health Officer with the Wyoming Department of Health.
The game and fish sampled different species of fish they suspected to have high mercury from 38 bodies of water in Wyoming and are just now starting to see some of those results.
"Walleye, brown trout, burbot, channel catfish, those kind of species were the ones that were more likely to have higher levels of mercury and it was generally the larger fish," said Dirk Miller, Assistant Chief of Fisheries with the Wyoming Game and Fish.
The Wyoming Department of Health says that pregnant and nursing mothers as well as children need to be especially careful about how much they consume.
"It's damaging to the nervous system so that's why we particularly worry about exposure to unborn children," Braund said.
Wyoming Game and Fish is finding some levels to be a little higher than expected, but that matches the trend around the region and nationwide. They don't want people to panic, but just be more aware of what they are consuming.
"There just are a few species and sizes that people, particularly women and children should be careful how many they eat," Miller said.
A list of current fish consumption advisory results can be found on the game and fish website at http://wgfd.wyo.gov/web2011/FISHING-1001093.aspx.
The advisory will be updated as more testing results become available.