Mercury Advisory for Payette Lake Trout


Thinking about fishing Payette Lake in McCall? Think twice before keeping your catch. The Idaho Division of Public Health is warning anglers about high levels of mercury found in Payette Lake trout. Officials said tests found levels of mercury similar to amounts found in commercial albacore tuna.

Mercury poses a risk to developing fetuses and children. Health officials recommend that children under 15 and pregnant women limit eating lake trout from Payette Lake to two meals per month. All other people can safely eat seven meals a month of lake trout.

Idaho health officials confirmed that higher levels of mercury were found in lake trout in the past, but no advisory was issued because it was illegal to take trout from Payette Lake at that time. Idaho Fish and Game changed its rules this year, allowing licensed anglers to legally catch and keep one trout from Payette Lake per day that is up to 30 inches in length.