The distribution of some heavy metals in three different organs of mullet, Liza abu, and catfish, Silurus triostegus, from Ataturk Dam Lake located on Euphrates (Turkey) was studied. Co and Mo concentrations were below limits of detection in all fish organs, whereas Ni was also below limits in organs of mullet. The metal accumulation in the liver and gill of L. abu and S. triostegus was found to be quite high in comparison with the muscle. In general, the concentrations are similar to those previously observed on other fish studied in Ataturk Dam Lake and lower than those determined in Tigris River. The analysed metals (Co, Cu, Fe, Mn, Mo, Ni and Zn) were found in fish muscle at mean concentrations under the permissible limits proposed by FAO. (C) 2003 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.