Fish safe to eat -- mostly -- after tailings pond breach: B.C.

A view of a spill that occurred in a mining company's tailings pond in Quesnel, B.C. (Cariboo...

A view of a spill that occurred in a mining company's tailings pond in Quesnel, B.C. (Cariboo Regional District photo/Supplied)

QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 4:14 PM ET

B.C. says the fish in Polley and Quesnel lakes are safe to eat -- so long as you avoid the liver and gonads -- after a massive tailings pond breach leaked 4.5 million cubic metres of metals-laden sand into the water.

The province tested trout and whitefish, which they collected from the lakes on Aug. 8, and found "none of the fish captured showed any signs of distress."

"After consultation with Interior Health, the public is advised that the flesh of the fish remains safe to eat," the government said in a release.

"However, those wishing to take extra precautionary measures may choose to remove the liver or gonads prior to consumption."

The fish livers and gonads contain selenium levels that exceed guidelines for human consumption, but only if you eat more than a cup a day.

The fish also showed "higher levels of arsenic, copper, manganese and zinc" than other fish, but the province said those results "are to be expected" because of the naturally occurring metal concentrations in the area.

 


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