Toxic lake brewing in the IE

LAKE SILVERWOOD Two years ago fish samples from 200 of the most popular fishing lakes in California, including Silverwood Lake, revealed that in many lakes at least one species of fish had levels of mercury that could be harmful to humans.

"People would be wise to approach with caution, but not alarm. This is a situation where we have taken very limited samples. We were sampling certain kinds of fish because we were looking for specific kinds of chemicals. There is not enough of those chemicals in any one serving of fish that you would get out of those lakes to make anyone sick," said Dave Clegern, State Water Board.

PCB levels, chemicals now banned, are now a potential health concern. Fisherman we talked to Wednesday all indicated that they eat the fish they catch.

"I think it is something we should be aware of. If that is the case then maybe you just don't eat much of it. That is what I would do," said Don Bellinger, fisherman.

"I eat them when I catch them that is all I know. I have no idea about the problem honestly," said Richard Winkler, fisherman.

The state tested 130 lakes last year. Those findings will be released in 2010. The preliminary report has certainly raised awareness.

"For years I never thought that there was a problem with mercury. The water is clean. It is drinking water. I eat a lot of fish and after talking to you today I am very concerned about the mercury," said David Turner, fisherman.

State officials say that there is nothing wrong with the water in the lake, after all it is our drinking water. They describe the findings as worrisome.

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