SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) has announced an updated consumption advisory for sport fish caught in Illinois waters. These changes are the result of continued sampling by the Fish Contaminant Monitoring Program and do not suggest that Illinois fish are becoming more or less contaminated.
“We encourage people to enjoy fishing in Illinois lakes and rivers, but want to make sure you have information about eating fish that are caught in Illinois waters. The advisories are not meant to discourage people from eating fish, but should be used as a guideline to help anglers and their families decide the types of fish to eat, how frequently, and how to prepare fish for cooking to reduce possible contaminants,” said IDPH Director Nirav D. Shah, M.D., J.D.
The following meal advisories for fish found with elevated levels of chlordane, dioxin, methylmercury and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) are based primarily on protecting sensitive populations, most particularly women who are pregnant, nursing, or of childbearing age, fetuses, and children younger than 15 years of age.
Lake Taylorville: Channel catfish, less than 21 inches, unlimited consumption, 21 inches or longer, one meal/week.
PANA LAKE: Largemouth Bass, 16” or longer, 1 meal/week, women beyond childbearing age and males more than 15 years old; 1 meal/month pregnant or nursing women, women of childbearing age and children less than 15 years old. Crappie, all sizes, 1 meal/week, pregnant or nursing women, women of childbearing age and children less than 15 years old. Contaminant: Mercury.
SANGAMON RIVER: Lake Decatur to Illinois River, channel catfish, less than 21 inches, 1 meal/week, 21 inches or longer, one meal/month. Lake Decatur to Roby, common carp, all sizes, 1 meal/month. Contaminant: PCBs.
SANGCHRIS LAKE: No advisories.
There is no known immediate health hazard from eating contaminated fish from any body of water in Illinois. The main concern for regularly eating fish listed on the advisories is the effect of long-term exposure to low levels of pesticides and chemicals, such as polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), dioxins, chlordane, and methylmercury.
The program is a joint effort of the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA) and the departments of Natural Resources and Public Health. The fish are collected by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) and tested by IEPA. IDPH issues fish consumption advisories based on the IEPA test results. The updated advisory and detailed information can be found on the IDPH website: http://dph.illinois.gov/topics-services/environmental