Mercury concentrations in muscle tissue from sportfish in Lake Mead, Nevada

Document Type



The aim of this study was to determine the concentrations of mercury present in commonly consumed fish from Lake Mead and to identify if differences exist between the 4 major basins. To date, no formal study using US Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) approved methodology has been conducted to quantify the amount of mercury present in fish tissue from Lake Mead. Largemouth bass (n = 49), striped bass (n = 94) and channel catfish (n = 78) were collected from selected sites in Boulder Basin, Overton Arm, Virgin Basin and Gregg Basin of Lake Mead. Muscle tissue was homogenized, digested and analyzed for mercury in accordance with USEPA Method 245.6. Mean total mercury concentrations were (± SD) 0.089 ± 0.065, 0.154 ± 0.127 and 0.098 ± 0.080 μg/g in largemouth bass, striped bass and channel catfish, respectively. There was a significant overall difference in mean mercury concentration between fish from the 4 major basins of Lake Mead (F3,208= 20.541, p < 0.001). The mean mercury concentration in Boulder Basin was significantly lower than all other locations (p < 0.001). Of 221 samples analyzed, 10 samples were found to have mean mercury concentrations above the USEPA's 2001 tissue residue criterion of 0.3 μg methlymercury/g fish tissue.


Aquatic toxicology; Channel catfish; Fishes – Mercury content; Largemouth bass; Mercury; Sportfish; Striped bass; Water – Pollution – Toxicology; United States – Lake Mead


Aquaculture and Fisheries | Environmental Health and Protection | Environmental Sciences | Toxicology | Water Resource Management


Use Find in Your Library, contact the author, or use interlibrary loan to garner a copy of the article. Publisher copyright policy allows author to archive post-print (author’s final manuscript). When post-print is available or publisher policy changes, the article will be deposited

UNLV article access

Search your library