3/5/15
PUBLIC INTEREST CENTER, (614) 644-2160
MEDIA CONTACT: Linda Fee Oros

2015 Sport Fish Consumption Advisory Reflects Some Significant Improvements

Some Ohio waterways are showing signs of improvement based on sampling conducted for the 2015 sport fish consumption advisory. All “Do Not Eat” advisories for the Mahoning River have been removed and replaced with less stringent advisories described below. There are also improved advisories listed for Lake Erie, the Tiffin River and Findley Lake.

A total of 503 fish tissue samples collected from 16 lakes and 19 streams in 2013 form the basis for the new advisory. Fish consumption evaluations help Ohio anglers make informed decisions about consuming their catch. Fish low in contaminants can be an important part of a healthy diet.

A statewide advisory of one fish meal per week remains in place due to mercury. Fish contaminated with high levels of mercury have been shown to cause neurological damage and impaired development in young children.

Certain fish caught in the following areas can be eaten more often:

Findley Lake – All waters

  • Largemouth bass -- one meal per week (previously one meal per month due to mercury).

Lake Erie – All waters

  • Rock bass -- one meal per week (previously one meal per month due to PCBs).

Mahoning River - Rockhill Avenue to the Pennsylvania border

  • Smallmouth bass – one meal per month for all sizes, due to PCBs and mercury (was “do not eat” for fish over 15 inches and one meal every two months if under 15 inches).
  • Channel catfish – one meal every two months for all sizes due to PCBs (was “do not eat” for fish over 21 inches).
  • Largemouth bass -- one meal per week.

Tiffin River – All waters

  • Northern pike greater than 25 inches -- one meal per month due to mercury (previously applied to all sizes). Fish under 25 inches revert to the statewide advisory of one fish meal per week.

Advisories in the following water bodies have been added:

Fish Creek – All waters

  • Rock bass -- one meal per month due to mercury.

Huron River – All waters

  • Smallmouth buffalo and common carp -- one meal per month due to PCBs.

Lake Erie – All waters

  • Smallmouth bass -- one meal per month now due to mercury as well as PCBs.

Mahoning River - Rockhill Avenue to the Pennsylvania border

  • Northern pike, rock bass, and bluegill -- one meal per month due to PCBs.
  • Yellow perch -- one meal per week due to PCBs.
  • Walleye -- one meal per month now due to mercury as well as PCBs.

Mosquito Creek – All waters

  • Northern pike -- one meal per month due to mercury.
  • Common carp -- one meal per month due to PCBs.
  • Bluegill -- one meal per week due to PCBs.

Muskingum River – From Zanesville Dam to the mouth of the Ohio River

  • Spotted bass -- one meal per month due to mercury.
  • Striped bass hybrid -- one meal per month due to PCBs and mercury.

St. Joseph River – All waters

  • Rock bass and northern pike -- one meal per month due to mercury.

Tiffin River - All waters

  • All flathead catfish and channel catfish 20 inches or more -- one meal per month due to mercury.

Ohio EPA partners with the Ohio Department of Health and the Ohio Department of Natural Resources to develop consumption advisories for fish caught in Ohio. Fish consumption advisories are updated annually.

Additional information about fish consumption safety for women of child-bearing age, pregnant and nursing mothers, and children under 15 can be found at the Women, Infant and Children (WIC) Centers, local health departments, Ohio EPA and Ohio Department of Natural Resources regional offices.

The 2015 fish advisory information is available online and printed copies can be requested by calling (614) 644-2160.

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The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency was created in 1972 to consolidate efforts to protect and improve air quality, water quality and waste management in Ohio. Since then, air pollutants dropped by as much as 90 percent; large rivers meeting standards improved from 21 percent to 89 percent; and hundreds of polluting, open dumps were replaced with engineered landfills and an increased emphasis on waste reduction and recycling.


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