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Health Advisory at Applegate Lake

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APPLEGATE LAKE, Ore. — Fishermen headed to Applegate Lake may want to think twice before bringing home their catch of the day.

For some fisherman in southern Oregon, Applegate Lake is their favorite place to cast their line. Now, the Oregon Health Authority is advising those fishermen to limit their consumption of what they catch.

After more than 20 years on this water, Rickey Vold knows the trick to have some luck.

“Just a little bit, just bounce the tip, and that thing will just go like this,” said Vold.

He says he’s caught a variety of fish out of the lake in his time… and will often reel in dinner.

“I love fish, man. I take them home and bake them, fry them,” said Vold.

Vold may have to think twice now, as the Oregon Health Authority has advised people limit their consumption of Applegate Lake’s fish due to high mercury levels. Doctors said fish are an important part of a healthy diet, but consumption should always be monitored.

“It’s a balance for pregnant women to do the benefits of fish consumption and then trying to leave high-mercury fish alone,” said Dr. Nicholas Mills.

The advisory states that several of the resident fish species — from bass to catfish — are at risk for the high mercury levels.

While high mercury levels can effect anyone, children and pregnant women are especially at risk.

“Really, it’s going to be diffuse, our non-specific developmental changes in the young children.  You know, adults, it may be more lethargy, maybe some vision difficulties as well,” said

Vold will continue to cast his line this summer and says because the advisory is just to “limit” consumption, bringing it home will depend on the fish… and his appetite.

“There’s always a scare with something, you know, I mean, sometimes it’s that blue-green algae, sometimes it’s mercury, you know, there’s always something,” said Vold.

Oregon Health Authority officials say they’re not sure how long this advisory will last.