Government of Yukon

FOR RELEASE     #11-135
August 31, 2011


Health advisory lifted after 20 years

WHITEHORSE—Twenty years after it was erected, a sign cautioning against fishing in Lake Laberge has been removed and the related health advisory has been lifted.

Yukon’s Chief Medical Officer of Health Brendan Hanley took the sign down earlier this week.

“This sign went up in 1991 warning people not to consume fish caught in Lake Laberge because of high toxaphene levels,” said Hanley. “Monitoring of fish stock over the years has shown us that toxaphene is no longer an issue in the lake so it’s time for the sign to come down and for the advisory to be lifted.”

Health and Social Services Minister Glenn Hart said the change is a positive step and will reflect well on the importance of monitoring contaminants in fish and wildlife in Yukon.

Hanley said the reduced levels of toxaphene may be a result of reductions in global emissions, as well as changes in the lake’s ecosystem, since the closing of the lake to commercial fishing in 1991.

“What we do know is that fish stocks are up, while levels of toxaphene are down significantly and the fish are suitable for consumption,” said Hanley.

More information on safe fish consumption is available at or visit



Elaine Schiman
Cabinet Communications Advisor
Pat Living
Communications, Health & Social Services