Mount Polley area fish safe to eat — mostly

Vancouver, BC, Canada / News Talk 980 CKNW | Vancouver's News. Vancouver's Talk
Mount Polley area fish safe to eat -- mostly

New tests from the Mount Polley area in central B.C. where a tailings pond breached earlier this month show the fish are safe to eat, as long as you don’t consume the liver and gonads.

Environment Minister Mary Polak says samples collected Aug 8 show the fish meat is safe, but there are high levels of the chemical selenium in those organs.

“Those wishing to take extra precautionary measures may chose to remove the liver or gonads prior to consumption.”

Still, she says you would have to eat a cup of them a day to go over the safety threshold.

Tests also found levels of copper exceeding aquatic guidelines in a couple of spots in Quesnel Lake. But because they were taken in deep water, they are considered low risk for humans.

As for that blue, wax-like sheen seen lingering on the water, Interior Health says it appears to be organic.

“Interior Health has only been notified by one individual, we have not had any reports from anyone else regarding concerns about health. And in addition, we have not heard from any physicians in that area that they are seeing individuals coming forward with health concerns either,” says Dr. Sue Pollak.

She says only one person has reported that, and that further testing is being done.


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  1. It’s early days and the fish are showing signs of contamination .
    I thinks it’s irresponsible to say the fish are safe to eat, don’t you think it’s always better to error on the side of caution when it’s public health at stake.

  2. Make sure to catch fish found in the right vertical depth of the water column, assuming fish don’t swim up and down.
    If you happen to catch one that has higher levels of selenium just make sure you don’t eat its gonads and liver. And if you catch one that is covered with some kind of blue waxy sludge on it, you are really in for a treat, because apparently it is “Organic” !
    And worst case scenario, if you eat too many contaminated fish, you can just have your own liver removed a few months later and hopefully you can get a new one.
    It sounds pretty safe to me, bon appétit.

  3. imperial metals needs to clean up the area instead of waiting for years of testing the impact of this is and will affect our families anf children for years to come.