Abstract Impact of anthropogenic activities on metal load of Sagbama River was investigated. Water samples were obtained at four (4) designated locations namely: Sagbama, Patani, Odi and Toru-Orua along Sagbama River in Bayelsa State, Nigeria. Standard procedures were employed for the collection and treatment of water samples. Samples collected were analysed using spectrophotometric methods for their copper, lead, iron, nickel, cadmium and zinc content. The following mean concentrations (mg/l) were recorded for the metals: (1.03±0.14) Cu; (0.04±0.01) Pb; (0.32±0.03) Fe; (0.03±0.01) Ni; (0.03±0.01) Cd and (3.27±0.23) Zn. The mean results of all the metals were higher than their recommended limits for drinking in Nigeria. Water quality assessment (WQA) revealed that, level of trace metals obtained rendered untreated water from Sagbama River unsuitable for human consumption. It also disclosed that all the locations studied were seriously and negatively impacted by activities within and around these areas. The general results indicated that, human activities in the studied area have impacted negatively on the quality of sagbama River regarding its metal contents. The environmental and health implications of metal status of Sagbama River have been enumerated.