Due to concerns about the accumulation of mercury and other contaminents in fish, the State Health Department advises that women who are pregnant, those who could become pregnant, nursing mothers, and children under 12 years of age should not eat any largemouth bass longer than 12 inches from anywhere in Missouri. Agency spokesperson Nanci Gonder says the advice is for the population’s health. But the State Conservation Department says in most places, the only bass that can be kept and eaten are the ones that are larger than 12 inches in length. Mike McKee, a resource scientist with the Conservation Department, doesn’t see that as a conflict. In fact, officials with both agencies say, despite the obvious differences in the advice and the rules, they work very closely on this issue.
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