Environment, Environmental Health, Public Health

State expands fish consumption advisories

Northern Pikeminnow (Photo courtesy of Tim Loh: www.fishbase.org)

OLYMPIA — Officials at the Washington State Department of Health are adding 32 new rivers, lakes, and streams to their list of locations with fish consumption advisories.

While mercury and polychlorinated biphenyls – commonly known as PCBs – continue to be responsible for most advisories around the state, the uptick is not an indication of increased contamination, but an increase in available study data.

The complete list of fish advisories around the state can be found on the agency’s website; the list is searchable by name of the river, lake, or stream and fish species. For waterbodies without an advisory, DOH recommends eating no more than one fish meal per week.

Unless waterbody-specific information states otherwise, the statewide advisory should be followed for:

  • Largemouth and smallmouth bass: Two meals per month
  • Northern pikeminnow: Do not eat

The updated advisories provide information on healthy fish options, as well as those species with meal restrictions.

Fish is a nutritious source of protein and Omega-3 fatty acids, and DOH recommends eating at least two seafood meals per week as part of a heart healthy diet. To reduce your exposure to contaminants in fish, eat a variety of fish from a variety of sources.

The DOH website is your source for a healthy dose of information.

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