FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Sept. 2, 2015
DENVER— Fish tissue sampling by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment has determined trout from the Animas River are safe to eat. Most fish tissue analyzed after the Gold King mine release showed metals below detectable levels. All results were below the risk threshold. Levels of mercury, selenium and arsenic in rainbow and brown trout were within the range of levels in fish previously sampled in the state. The results most likely represent background levels, not a change in levels because of the Aug. 5 mine spill.
Fish samples were compared to EPA regional screening levels in a manner similar to risk assessment of water and sediment from the Animas River. Risk assessment focused on short-term health effects since the mine spill was a short-term event. Because there is a potential for fish to concentrate metals in their tissue over time, the department and Colorado Parks and Wildlife will continue to monitor levels of metals in Animas River fish. New data will be analyzed and results reported when available.
More information on the Gold King mine release available at: https://www.colorado.gov/pacific/cdphe/animas-river-spill