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Gold Rush Miners Blamed For Water Pollution

State regulators say mercury used by Gold Rush miners is contaminating fish in Sierra Nevada waterways.

The state Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment says most people can safely eat limited amounts of the contaminated fish — but children and women of childbearing age should be careful how much they consume.

The agency has guidelines for eating fish from Camp Far West Reservoir, Lake Combie, Lake Englebright, Rollins Reservoir, Scotts Flat Reservoir and portions of the South Yuba River, Deer Creek and Bear River in Nevada, Placer and Yuba counties.

It has similar warnings for Black Butte, Stony Gorge and East Park reservoirs in Glenn, Tehama and Colusa counties. Mercury can damage the nervous system.