Water

Loddon River


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Mercury in fish species in the Loddon River

Mercury occurs naturally and in very low levels in rocks and soils. It may also occur in some soils and waterways from historical gold mining activities, where it was used to recover gold from mined, crushed rock. Mercury has been found in river bed sediments and some fish species in the Loddon River (downstream of Laanecoorie Reservoir to Bridgewater) as a result of historical gold mining in the area.

Loddon River affected area

Map showing area affected by elevated mercury levels

Affected species

In freshwater environments containing mercury, some species of fish may also contain high levels of mercury. This is more likely in fish that are predatory (eat other fish) and also live a long time in this environment. 

In the Loddon River, the following fish are likely to contain elevated levels of mercury:

common carp

Common name/s: Common carp (European carp)

redfin

Common name/s: Redfin (English perch)

Murray cod

Common name: Murray Cod

golden perch

Common name: Golden perch

I've caught some fish. How much can I eat?

Food standards Australia New Zealand provides the following advice for eating fish with elevated mercury levels. The following fish caught in the Loddon River between the Laanecorrie Reservoir and Bridgewater are expected to have elevated levels of mercury:

Fish  Advice for  Number of serves 
Redfin, Murray cod and carp  Pregnant women, women planning pregnancy and children under 6 years  Limit to one serve per fortnight, and no other fish that fortnight 
  Rest of the population Limit to one serve per week and no other fish that week 
 Golden perch Pregnant women, women planning pregnancy and children under 6 years Limit to one serve per week, and no other fish that week

Rest of the population  Limit to three serves per week, and no other fish that week

 

Note that one serve equals:

  • 150g in adults (for example two frozen crumbed fish fillets)
  • 75g in children under 6 years (for example 3 fish fingers)

Further information

See your local doctor if you or a member of your family have health concerns.

For information about drinking water quality, refer to the Department of Health and Human Services.


Page last updated on 7 Dec 2017