Mercury Resources

Many of the Sierra lakes, streams and reservoirs are heavily contaminated with mercury left over from abandoned mines and some fish species have accumulated higher quantities of mercury than others. Mercury is a dangerous neurotoxin and is especially harmful to children or pregnant women.

Publications and Tools

The Sierra Fund’s Publications:  Reclaiming the Sierra toolbox and link to publications such as the Gold Country Anger Survey as well as outreach and educational materials:

Great website and toolkit + Mercury Calculator:

California Indian Environmental Alliance (CIEA) – a great source for California (and especially tribal)-oriented Mercury Health Programs, Trainings and Publications:

California Indian Environmental Alliance (CIEA) – Free Journal Articles and Resources:

Physicians for Social Responsibility – Safe eating pocket guide and fact sheets:

Natural Resources Defense Council – A guide to staying healthy and fighting back:

More Publications on Mercury in Fish:

Blue Ocean Institute – Organizations researching mercury

Advisories and Safe Eating Guidelines:

California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) – California’s state-issued safe eating guidelines, mercury advisories and fish consumption benefits:

NOTE:  although the OEHHA fish consumption guidelines are organized by water body, if the location you are fishing is not listed, it doesn’t necessarily mean the fish there are safe to eat – instead, follow OEHHA’s General Guidelines:

*Important Update: On August 1st, 2013 the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment released a statewide fish consumption advisory for all lakes and reservoirs, that didn’t previously have site specific advice.  View the California Lakes and Reservoirs advisory at  or download a copy of the poster here

My Water Quality – A great map showing fish advisory locations:

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency – Federal fish consumption advice for women of childbearing age and children: (another good resource if the water body you are fishing at does not have state-issued advice)

Environmental Protection Agency Fish Advisory – National listing of fish advisories:

Other Agency Resources

California State Water Resources Control Board – Current info on what California’s regulatory agencies are doing to improve their mercury program:

Sacramento County Regional Sanitation District:

Environmental Protection Agency – Mercury Health Effects: 

U.S. Food and Drug Administration – (also at 1-800-SAFEFOOD)

Environmental Health Investigations Branch, California Department of Health Services:

California Department of Toxic Substances Control:

If you find toxins in your home contact: 1-800-CLEANUP (1-800-253-2687):

Power Point Presentations

The Sierra Fund: “Fish and Dust”

California Indian Environmental Alliance: “Eating Fish Safely”