From Green Right Now Reports
Pennsylvania officials today released updated fish consumption advisories that include two new fish species and a water body that had not previously been on the list, but also eases or lifts advisories on fish from seven water bodies.
The advisories were developed through an interagency partnership between the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission and the state departments of Environmental Protection, Health and Agriculture.
“Consumption advisories are not intended to discourage anyone from fishing or eating fresh fish in moderation,” Environmental Protection Secretary John Hanger said in a statement. “However, at-risk groups and people who regularly eat sport fish are most susceptible to contaminants that can build up in fish over time and should space out fish meals according to these advisories, and in consultation with their physician.”
The advisories do not apply to fish raised for commercial purposes or bought in stores or restaurants.
All of Pennsylvania remains under a blanket advisory that recommends limiting consumption of any recreationally caught fish to one meal per week. This advisory is designed to protect against eating large amounts of fish from waters that have not been tested, or for certain species that have not been tested or fish that may contain other unidentified contaminants. One meal is considered to be one-half pound of fish for a 150-pound person.
For 2010, new advisories have been added limiting consumption of Largemouth Bass in Lake Canadohta in Crawford County to two meals per month, and consumption of Largemouth Bass in Lake Jean in Sullivan and Luzerne counties to one meal per month as a result of elevated levels of mercury in the water.
A do-not-eat advisory has been issued for Channel Catfish in the Mahoning River in Lawrence County due to PCB contamination.
Consumption advisories have been eased but not lifted for the following locations and species:
- French Creek in Erie, Crawford, Mercer and Venango counties for Smallmouth Bass as a result of mercury contamination
- Lake Erie for Walleye as a result of PCB contamination
- Schuylkill River from the confluence of Mill Creek at Port Carbon to the Auburn Dam in Schuylkill County for Trout as a result of PCB contamination.
Consumption advisories have been lifted for the following locations and species:
- Jacks Creek from the Paintersville Bridge to the mouth in Mifflin County for Brown Trout and White Sucker as a result of PCB contamination
- Chartiers Creek from Canonsburg to the mouth and Little Chartiers Creek from Canonsburg Lake dam to the mouth in Allegheny and Washington Counties for Largemouth Bass and Carp as a result of Chlordane contamination
- Monongahela River from Pool 4 between the Maxwell Lock and Dam and Lock and Dam 4 in Fayette and Washington counties for Channel Catfish as a result of Chlordane contamination
- Sinnemahoning Creek from the confluence of Lower Jerry Run to the mouth in Clinton and Cameron counties for Largemouth Bass and Carp as a result of Mercury contamination.
Officials say people can get the health benefits of eating fish and reduce the potential risk of exposure to organic contaminants by properly cleaning, skinning, trimming and cooking the fish they eat.
Proper preparation generally includes trimming away fat and broiling or grilling the fish to allow remaining fat to drip away. Juices and fats that cook out of the fish should not be eaten or reused for cooking or preparing other foods. Mercury, however, collects in the fish’s muscle and cannot be reduced by cleaning and cooking methods.