Mercury

Health Canada has set fish consumption guidelines based on the concentration of mercury in fish tissue, and the human body’s ability to eliminate mercury at a slow rate (see table). Most mercury accumulation in Alberta fish comes from natural sources.

Dioxin and Furan

Toxic airborne substances from burning organics and waste-water discharges from industrial sites. Alberta Health has compiled fish advisories for the waterbodies exposed to unsafe levels of contaminants. Recommended limits for:

  • Brook Trout: 2 serving/week for waters within 20 kms of Swan Hills
  • Burbot: Avoid eating the liver, only fillet portions can be eaten without limits, from
    • Athabasca River downstream of Iron Point
    • Cutbank River and tributaries
    • Kakwa River and tributaries
    • Little Smoky River and tributaries
    • Smoky River and tributaries
    • Wapiti River and tributaries
  • Mountain whitefish: pregnant women and young children should avoid, others should limit consumption to no more than 1.5 servings/week from
    • Cutbank River and tributaries
    • Kakwa River and tributaries
    • Little Smoky River and tributaries
    • Simonette River and tributaries
    • Smoky River and tributaries
    • Wapiti River and tributaries

Note: 1 serving = 75 grams, ½ cup, or 2.5 oz

For detailed information about fish consumption advisories, please contact Alberta Health at (780) 427-4518.

Recommended Fish Consumption Limits for Fish Species in Alberta Water Bodies
Water Body Species Fish
Size
(lbs)
Consumption Limit (servings per week)**
Women Child 1-4 Child 5-11 Adult
Athabasca River
(downstream Fort McMurray)
WALL 2 2 0.5 1 8
Amisk Lake (65-18-W4) WALL 1 Avoid Avoid Avoid 4
NRPK 2 Avoid Avoid Avoid 6
Bow River
(below Bassano Dam)
WALL - Avoid Avoid Avoid 1
NRPK - Avoid Avoid Avoid 1
Chinchaga River WALL 2 3 1 0.5 No
Limit
Christina Lake (76-6-W4) WALL 4 2 0.5 1 8
NRPK 8 2 0.5 1 8
Chrystina (Windy) Lake
(67-8-W5)
EBTR - Avoid Avoid Avoid 1
Clearwater River
(Northeast Alberta)
WALL 2 2 0.5 1 8
NRPK 2 8 2 4 No
Limit
Cowoki Reservoir (19-13-W4) NRPK 8 Avoid Avoid Avoid 5
Crawling Valley Reservoir (22-18-W4) NRPK 3 3 1.5 0.5 No
Limit
WALL 2 Avoid Avoid Avoid 6
Edwards Lake (75-9-W4) NRPK - Avoid Avoid Avoid 1
Gregoire Lake (86-8-W4) WALL 2 8 2 4 No
Limit
NRPK 2 8 2 4 No
Limit
Helena Lake (66-11-W4) WALL - Avoid Avoid Avoid 1
NRPK - Avoid Avoid Avoid 1
Hilda Lake (64-3-W4) WALL - Avoid Avoid Avoid 1
NRPK - Avoid Avoid Avoid 1
Ironwood Lake (65-10-W4) WALL - Avoid Avoid Avoid 1
NRPK - Avoid Avoid Avoid 1
Isle Lake (54-5-W5) WALL 3 6 2.5 1.5 No
Limit
NRPK 7 3 1 0.5 No
Limit
Kehiwin Lake (58-7-W4) WALL 2 4 2 1 No
Limit
NRPK 4 3 1.5 0.5 No
Limit
Keho Lake (11-22-W4) WALL 3 2 0.5 1 8
NRPK 3 4 1 2 No
Limit
Kinnaird Lake (67-10-W4) WALL 2 Avoid Avoid Avoid 5
NRPK 3 3 1 0.5 No
Limit
Lac Bellevue (56-9-W4) WALL 2 3 1 0.5 6
Lac La Nonne (57-3-W5) WALL 2 Avoid Avoid Avoid 5
NRPK 2 Avoid Avoid Avoid 5
Lac Ste. Anne (54-3-W5) WALL 2 4 1 2 No
Limit
NRPK 2 4 1 2 No
Limit
Lake Newell (17-15-W4) WALL 3 2 0.5 1 8
NRPK 3 4 1 2 No
Limit
LKWH 2 8 2 4 No
Limit
Little Bow Reservoir (14-20-W4) NRPK 3 2 1 0.5 6
Little Bow River
(upstream of Twin Valley Res.)
NRPK 2 4 1 2 No
Limit
Little Bow River
(downstream of Twin Valley Res.)
NRPK 2 2 0.5 1 8
Long Lake (63-19-W4) NRPK 2 4 2 1 No
Limit
McGregor Lake (17-21-W4) WALL 4 Avoid Avoid Avoid 5
Milk River Ridge Reservoir
(5-20-W4)
WALL 3 2 0.5 1 8
NRPK 3 4 1 2 No
Limit
LKWH 2 8 2 4 No
Limit
Moose Lake (61-7-W4) WALL - Avoid Avoid Avoid 1
NRPK - Avoid Avoid Avoid 1
Muskwa River (83-26-W4) NPRK 2 8 2 4 No
Limit
Muskwa Lake (82-5-W5) WALL - Avoid Avoid Avoid 1
NRPK - Avoid Avoid Avoid 1
Namur Lake (97-17-W4) LKTR 4 2 0.5 1 8
North Saskatchewan River WALL - Avoid Avoid Avoid 1
NRPK - Avoid Avoid Avoid 1
GOLD - Avoid Avoid Avoid 1
SAUG - Avoid Avoid Avoid 1
Oldman River
(Downstream Lethbridge)
NRPK 3 4 1 2 No
Limit
Pine Coulee Reservoir
(14-28-W4)
WALL 1 Avoid Avoid Avoid 5
NRPK 1 8 2 4 No
Limit
Pine Lake (36-25-W4) WALL 3 2 0.5 1 8
NRPK 3 4 1 2 No
Limit
Pinehurst Lake (65-10-W4) WALL 4 Avoid Avoid Avoid 5
NRPK 3 Avoid Avoid Avoid 4
Pitchimi Lake (115-5-W5) LKTR 10 Avoid Avoid Avoid 4
Red Deer River
(Downstream of Blindman R.)
WALL 3 Avoid Avoid Avoid 5
NRPK 3 4 1 2 No
Limit
MTWH 2 8 2 4 No
Limit
Rolling Hills Reservoir (16-14-W4) WALL 6 Avoid Avoid Avoid 3
NRPK 8 Avoid Avoid Avoid 3
South Saskatchewan River
(Bindloss Ferry and Medicine Hat)
WALL 2 Avoid Avoid Avoid 5
SAUG 1 Avoid Avoid Avoid 8
NPRK 3 4 1 2 No
Limit
LKWH 2 8 2 4 No
Limit
GOLD 1 Avoid Avoid Avoid 5
Touchwood Lake (67-10-W4) WALL 5 Avoid Avoid Avoid 3
NRPK 10 Avoid Avoid Avoid 4
Twin Valley Reservoir
(15-26-W4)
NPRK 2 Avoid Avoid Avoid 5
Wabamun Lake (53-4_W5) NPRK 7 3 1 0.5 No
Limit
Wabasca Lakes (81-25-W4) WALL 4 4 3 1 No
Limit
NRPK 9 4 2 1 No
Limit
Whitefish Lake (62-13-W4) LKWH 8 Avoid Avoid Avoid 5
WALL 4 Avoid Avoid Avoid 4
NRPK 9 Avoid Avoid Avoid 5
Willow Creek (9-25-W4) NRPK 2 4 1 2 No
Limit
BURB 1 4 1 2 No
Limit
Winefred Lake (75-4-W4) WALL 3 8 2 4 No
Limit

WALL – Walleye
NRPK – Northern Pike
GOLD – Goldeye
EBTR – Eastern Brook Trout
MTWH – Mountain Whitefish
LKWH – Lake Whitefish
LKTR – Lake Trout
SAUG – Sauger
BURB - Burbot

1 lb = 454 grams**

1 serving = 75 grams/ 1/2 cup / 2.5 oz, or a piece of cooked fish that fits into the palm of your hand

Women refers to women of child-bearing age (15-49 years) and pregnant women.

Adult refers to adults and children over 12 years.

Updated: Apr 05, 2012