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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.
Map showing area affected by elevated mercury levels
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:
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:
Note that one serve equals:
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