April 4, 2001
|2001 Illinois Fish Advisories Chart|
2001 SPORTS FISH CONSUMPTION ADVISORY ANNOUNCED
SPRINGFIELD, IL - The Illinois Department of Public Health today announced its 2001 consumption advisories for sports fish caught in Illinois lakes and rivers.
This year's listing includes several changes:
The remainder of this year's consumption advisories are unchanged from last year. The advisories provide eating advice in five categories - unlimited consumption, one meal a week, no more than one meal per month, no more than six meals a year and do not eat.
"These fish can be eaten safely if anglers and their families follow the meal recommendations in the advisories and the cooking and cleaning advice," said Dr. John R. Lumpkin, state public health director. "Fish are an ideal source of high-quality protein, vitamins and minerals and are low in cholesterol and saturated fats. They can be an important part of a healthy diet."
The consumption advisories for bluegill and crappie in Lake Bracken were changed from a recommended limit of one meal a week to unlimited consumption due to two years of test results with no contaminants detected. Previously, the fish were found to have PCB contamination.
Advice for channel catfish caught at Powerton Lake calls for one meal a week for those less than 19 inches in length and once a month for those 19 inches and longer due to PCB contamination. Smallmouth bass, white bass and carp from the lake were cleared for unlimited consumption. This is the first time the state's fish monitoring system has tested fish from this lake.
Crappie from Crab Orchard Lake, carp from Highland-Silver Lake and largemouth bass from the Mississippi River from the Wisconsin border to Lock and Dam 26 were tested for the first time and showed no contaminants. Those fish were recommended for unlimited consumption.
The advisory for Ohio River sauger, which have been detected with PCBs, was changed from one meal a week for all sizes of the fish to one meal a month.
The advisory also adds freshwater drum from the Wabash River for the first time and recommends that all sizes of the fish, which have shown PCB contamination in the past, can be safely eaten once a week. All sizes of carp caught in the Wabash River may be eaten once a week compared with last year's recommendation to eat carp less than 20 inches in length once a week and eating carp longer than 20 inches only once a month.
Anglers can limit their exposure to PCBs and chlordane that may be found in fish by preparing and cooking fish in ways that reduce the amount of contaminants and by varying the type and source of sport fish consumed -- opting for the younger, smaller fish, and consuming leaner species such as bass, walleye and panfish over fatter species such as carp and catfish.
There are several ways to reduce contaminants in edible portions of fish:
While there is no known immediate health threat from eating contaminated fish from any Illinois body of water, there are concerns about the effects of long-term, low-level exposure to the pesticides and chemicals found in the fish flesh listed in the advisories. For two of the chemicals that have caused advisories to be issued in Illinois - PCBs and chlordane - there is evidence that high doses can cause adverse health conditions in animals and humans, including cancer, liver damage, and reproductive and developmental damage. Mercury, the other contaminant of concern in Illinois fish, can cause reproductive damage and have adverse effects on the central nervous system, including developmental delays.
The advisories for these chemicals are based primarily on protecting women of childbearing age, fetuses and children younger than 6 years of age. They may be overprotective for women beyond childbearing age and adult men.
The Illinois Fish Contaminant Monitoring Program screens fish samples from about 50 bodies of water each year for contamination from 13 banned pesticides and industrial chemicals. The program is a joint effort of the departments of Agriculture, Natural Resources, Nuclear Safety and Public Health, and the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA).
The fish are collected by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) and tested by IEPA. The Department of Public Health bases its consumption advisories on the IEPA test results. This year's advisories are included in Illinois 2001 Fishing Information, which is available from IDNR or from businesses that sell state fishing licenses.
The Department of Public Health has pamphlets regarding fish consumption advice, including Illinois Fish and Your Health and An Expectant Mother's Guide to Eating Illinois Fish.
of Public Health
535 West Jefferson Street
Springfield, Illinois 62761
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