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caption: Bellevue is shown on Thursday, Jan. 17, 2019, on the east side of Lake Washington from the Madrona neighborhood in Seattle.
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Bellevue is shown on Thursday, Jan. 17, 2019, on the east side of Lake Washington from the Madrona neighborhood in Seattle.
Credit: KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

3 fish from 3 King County lakes that you should not eat

Think twice before eating fish from three King County lakes. Poisonous fish have been discovered in these popular fishing spots.

  • If you’re fishing in Lake Washington and you catch a cutthroat trout — don’t eat it.
  • The largemouth bass in Lake Sammamish and the smallmouth bass in Lake Meridian are also not healthy choices.

RELATED: Washington state is nixing fish farms in public waters

A recent assessment from the Washington State Department of Health found that these fish and others contain a perfluorinated chemical, which could have harmful health effects. Such chemicals can disrupt your immune system, raise your cholesterol, and increase your risk of certain kinds of cancer.

caption: According to a 2022 report, the Washington State Department of Health found dangerous chemicals in cutthroat trout from Lake Washington, largemouth bass from Lake Sammamish, and smallmouth bass in Lake Meridan, all in King County.
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According to a 2022 report, the Washington State Department of Health found dangerous chemicals in cutthroat trout from Lake Washington, largemouth bass from Lake Sammamish, and smallmouth bass in Lake Meridan, all in King County.

According to DOH: "Your risk of developing health problems depends on how much, how often, and how long you were exposed. Age, lifestyle, and overall health can impact how your body responds to PFOS exposure. The best way to protect yourself and your family is to lower your exposure."

Some of the fish in these three lakes are still healthy to eat. The brown bullhead catfish in Lakes Sammamish and Meridian received a clear bill of health.

More details about which fish are OK to eat, or not, are on the state's health department website.

In general, the department says, fish are good for you! Eat fish ... just not contaminated fish.

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