Fishing at Prado Lake in Chino? Here’s what’s safe to eat from your catch – San Bernardino Sun

There’s good news for folks who like to fish at Prado Lake in Chino.

The fish they catch are very low in any contaminants and would be fine to eat, the California Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) announced this week.

Per the agency’s latest routine testing at Prado Lake, the OEHHA found that it is safe to eat the following fish caught there: black bass species, Channel Catfish, Common Carp, sunfish species and Threadfin Shad.

Fish taken from the lake were tested by a sister agency and found to have lower contaminant levels for mercury and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) than are typical of other lakes and water bodies in California, the OEHHA reported.

The lake is part of Prado Regional Park located near the juncture of the 71 Freeway and State Route 83, south of Chino Airport, at 16700 S. Euclid Ave.

A Guide to Eating Fish from Prado Lake (Image courtesy OEHHA)

All fish species tested at Prado Lake can be consumed at least four times a week. But the agency had some more specific guidelines on how much of the fish individuals should consume.

• Men ages 18 and older and women 50 and older may eat a maximum of seven total servings per week of black bass, Channel Catfish, Common Carp, sunfish species or Threadfin Shad. They could, for example, eat three servings of one and four of another as long as they don’t go past seven servings total.

• Women ages 18-49 and children ages 1-17 can eat a maximum of seven total servings per week of catfish, sunfish or shad, or six total servings per week of black bass species; or four total servings per week of carp.

In fact, the directive encourages the consumption of fish, which are high in protein.

“Many fish have nutrients that may reduce the risk of heart disease and are excellent sources of protein,” OEHHA Director Dr. Lauren Zeise said in a prepared statement. “By following our guidelines for fish caught in Prado Lake, people can safely eat fish low in chemical contaminants and enjoy the well-known health benefits of fish consumption.”

One serving is about an 8-ounce fillet measured before cooking. Children should eat smaller servings, the agency explained.

Mercury from industrial sources and vehicle tailpipe emissions falls into lakes, streams and oceans in Southern California. The process is called aerial deposition, experts explained. It can also come from mining. Mercury can damage the brain and nervous system, especially in developing children and fetuses, according to OEHHA.

PCBs are industrial chemicals that at high levels of exposure can cause cancer. They were banned in the United States in the late 1970s but can persist in the environment from spills, leaks or faulty disposal. Since PCBs accumulate in the skin, OEHHA recommends only eating the skinless fillet portions of the fish.

Sampling at Prado Lake occurred several different times in recent years, said Susan Klasing, chief of the fish, eco-toxicology and water section at OEHHA. The State Water Resources Control Board oversees sampling, she said.

To find out past fish advisories from OEHHA, go to

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