Anglers are being warned about the potential dangers of eating fish pulled from a popular pond in north-central Iowa. A fish consumption advisory for largemouth bass has been issued for the Black Pit, also known as Pierce Pond, in Mason City’s Lester Milligan Park.

D-N-R spokesman Kevin Baskins says two recent samplings detected elevated levels of mercury in largemouth bass fillets. Baskins says one sampling in early May detected point-two-four parts per million while the other sampling in June detected point-two-three parts per million. The recommended mercury limit is point-two parts per million, or what the E-P-A says is safe for consumption.

Baskins says while largemouth bass are under the advisory, other fish that come from the pond are okay. Baskins says people are probably eating more channel catfish and panfish out of Pierce Pond rather than largemouth bass, and mercury levels of those fish are under the recommended point-two limit.

Baskins says despite mercury being found in the fish, people can still safely eat one fish per week. Baskins says the D-N-R started regularly testing Pierce Pond after the E-P-A found elevated mercury levels and regulatory violations from a pair of mercury oxide battery manufacturing operations that used to be located near the pond.

Baskins says the nearby Big Blue pond is not impacted by Pierce Pond and there are no advisories in effect for fish from there.