A new study shows that fish in five Arkansas lakes have high levels of mercury. The research comes from th US Public Interest Research Group, which used two years of data that the Environmental Protection Agency compiled. The random survey is the first to analyze chemicals in freshwater fish. It found 67 percent of the fish in the lakes had mercury levels higher than what the EPA deems as safe for women of childbearing age to eat. Arkansas` statistics are higher than the national average of 55 percent for women and 76 percent for children. Mercury is a natural element that becomes toxic when it enters the water. Twenty Arkansas waterways are on an advisory list for mercury levels issued by the state Department of Health. --- dash --- The five lakes that the EPA statistics cover in Arkansas include Lake DeGray, Greers Ferry, Norfork, Ozark and Horseshoe.