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Going Fishing? Catch and Release or Make a Meal

Ohio has issued new guidelines for eating fish caught in lakes, rivers and streams, reflecting notable improvements in the waters of the state.

Among the improvements highlighted in the statewide study: freshwater drum caught from the Huron River may now be eaten once per week; advisories against eating common carp from the Big Darby Creek, North Branch Portage River, and Mahoning River have been lifted and are now one per month advisories; Acton, Chippewa, Kiser, Knox, Logan, Paint Creek, Sippo, and White lakes, as well as Findley #2, Griggs, Salt Fork, and Wills Creek reservoirs, along with the Black Fork Mohican River and Bad, Nimishillen and North Turkeyfoot creeks also were identified as improved for certain species. (See below for the complete table of changes to this year’s advisories.)

Fish can be part of a healthy diet and evaluations of fish tissue are showing some places where anglers can eat all of certain varieties of fish that they can legally catch. Unless otherwise notated in the new recommendations, a general advisory is in place that recommends limiting one meal each week of Ohio-caught fish.

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. A total of 885 fish tissue samples collected from 51 lakes and 26 streams in 2014 and 2015 form the basis for the new advisories. Fish consumption evaluations help Ohio anglers make informed decisions about consuming their catch.

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 2016 fish advisory information is available online and printed copies can be requested by calling (614) 644-2160.

 

 

Changes this year include (yellow is more restrictive, green is less restrictive):

Water bodySpeciesChange
Acton LakeChannel catfish

 

 

Bluegill, Common carp, Saugeye

Two meals per week (previously one meal per week) – mercury.

 

Unrestricted

 

Ashtabula River

(Hilldome Road to U.S. Route 20)

Smallmouth bassOne meal per month – PCBs.
Auglaize RiverRock bassOne meal per month – mercury.
Bad Creek

 

Channel catfishTwo meals per week (previously one meal per week) – mercury.
Big Darby Creek

(Entire length)

Common carp

 

 

Smallmouth bass

One meal per week (previously one meal per month – PCBs.

 

One meal per month – mercury.

Black Fork Mohican RiverFreshwater drumTwo meals per week (previously one meal per week) – mercury.
Black Fork Mohican RiverChannel catfish

 

Rock Bass

One meal per month – PCBs.

 

One meal per month – mercury.

Bokes CreekSmallmouth bassOne meal per month – mercury.
Chippewa LakeCommon carp, White crappie

 

Bluegill, Channel catfish

Two meals per week (previously one meal per week) – mercury.

 

Unrestricted

CJ Brown ReservoirCommon carpTwo meals per week.
FindleyReservoir #2Walleye, White bassUnrestricted
Greenville Creek

(Rockhill Avenue to the Pennsylvania border).

Largemouth bassOne meal per month – mercury.
Griggs ReservoirLargemouth bassOne meal per week (previously two meals per week)
Huron River

(Entire length)

Freshwater drumOne meal per week (previously one meal per month) – mercury.
Kiser LakeLargemouth bass

 

Bluegill

Two meals per week.

 

Unrestricted

Knox LakeCommon carp, White crappie

 

Channel Catfish

Two meals per week (previously one meal per week) – mercury.

 

Unrestricted

Lake LoganCommon carp, White crappie

 

Bluegill, Channel catfish, Saugeye

Two meals per week (previously one meal per week) – mercury.

 

Unrestricted

Lake WhiteCommon carpTwo meals per week.
Little Muskingum RiverSmallmouth bassOne meal per month – mercury.
Mahoning RiverCommon carpOne meal per month (previously six meals per year) – PCBs.
Mosquito CreekBluegillOne meal per week PCBs and lead, modification was triggered by lead.
Nimishillen CreekGreen sunfishUnrestricted
North Turkeyfoot CreekChannel catfish

 

 

Common carp

Two meals per week (previously one meal per week) – mercury.

 

Unrestricted

Paint Creek LakeBluegillUnrestricted
Rush Run LakeLargemouth bassOne meal per month – mercury.
Salt Fork ReservoirBluegillUnrestricted.
Sandusky River

(Rice Road, south of the Ballville Dam, to Lake Erie)

Common carp

Smallmouth buffalo

Continued one meal per month – PCBs, fishing location redefined.
Shade RiverFreshwater drumOne meal per month – mercury.
Sippo LakeBlack crappie, Bluegill, Common carp, Largemouth bassUnrestricted
South Turkeyfoot CreekYellow bullheadTwo meals per week (previously one meal per week) – mercury.
St. Marys RiverLargemouth bassOne meal per month – mercury.
Turkey Creek LakeLargemouth bassOne meal per month – mercury.
Wills CreekSaugeyeOne meal per month – mercury.
Wills Creek ReservoirChannel catfishTwo meals per week.

 

 

www.epa.ohio.gov

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