ADEQ issues “Green Light” fishery designation for cutthroat and rainbow trout caught from Big Lake

Big Lake - Springerville, AZ (Apache County)

Photo Credit: AZGF

by Arizona Game & Fish Department

The Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ), in cooperation with the Arizona Game and Fish Department (AZGFD), has issued a “Green Light” fishery notice for cutthroat and rainbow trout caught from Big Lake, meaning these species can be consumed without limits per standard dietary guidelines. This notice is based on recent analyses of fish tissue data.


ADEQ tests filets of sampled fish for mercury and other pollutants of concern to recommend healthy amounts of fish species to catch and eat. ADEQ works in collaboration with AZGFD to collect fish from popular Arizona streams and lakes for testing.

  • Fish that have been tested and found to be low in pollutants of concern, like mercury, are designated Green Light Fisheries and may be consumed without limits per standard dietary guidelines.
  • When tests show a fish species has a contaminant level higher than a health standard, ADEQ issues a Fish Consumption Advisory that identifies the contaminant of concern and provides guidance for which fish to eat and how much. See more information under "Resources" below. 

There are currently no consumption advisories for Big Lake or for trout caught from other Arizona waters.


Fish are an excellent source of protein and can be an important part of a healthy, diverse diet as they are low in saturated fat. The American Heart Association recommends people eat at least two fish or seafood meals every week. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) list trout as being among the “best choices” for fish consumption. The public health recommendations in this Green Light Fishery notice are based on frequent and long-term consumption of fish.



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