KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — A precautionary fish consumption advisory has been issued for black bass on Chilhowee Reservoir in Monroe and Blount counties. The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation said the warning was due to elevated levels of mercury.

The advisory includes all black bass species for the entirety of the reservoir based on data exceeding Tennessee’s trigger point for mercury. According to TDEC, mercury levels in both largemouth and smallmouth black bass were tested at .54 mg/kg, nearly double the mercury trigger point of 0.3 mg/kg.

Pregnant women, nursing mothers, and children are advised to avoid eating the fish while others are told to limit consumption to one meal per month. TDEC added that there is no risk to recreational activities such as boating, kayaking, swimming, wading, and catch-and-release fishing.

“We provide these advisories so the community can make informed decisions about whether or not to consume the fish they catch,” said TDEC Deputy Commissioner Greg Young. “Unlike ‘Do Not Consume’ advisories that warn the general population to avoid eating fish from a particular body of water altogether, precautionary fish consumption advisories are specifically directed to sensitive populations such as children, pregnant women, nursing mothers and those who may eat fish frequently from the same body of water.”

Warning signs will be posted by TDEC at the primary public access point. The department will also work with the TWRA to communicate the advisory to the public. A list of Tennessee’s current fishing advisories can be found here.