Public warned not to eat fish from Willamette Slough

State environmental regulator says "concerning" levels of dioxins found

A sign posted near the Willamette Slough Tuesday warns people not to eat any fish they catch. (KOIN)

SALEM, Ore. (KOIN) — The City of Salem is warning locals not to eat fish caught in the Willamette Slough due contaminated sediment found in the water.

The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality found high levels of dioxins in the slough, which the bureau warns could make fish living in the water unsafe to eat.

A sign posted near the slough Tuesday warns people not to eat any fish they catch.

“This is a precaution to determine whether or not there is any issues related to fish that might be caught in the area,” DEQ clean up manager Mike Kucinski said.

Kucinski called the high levels of dioxins “concerning”. He believes they may be the result of a paper-bleaching process used by a nearby paper mill from 1962-1982.

State environmental regulators aren’t sure what the risks are, which is why more testing needs to be done before it’s safe for anyone to eat fish caught at the slough.

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