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Fish advisory changes for Pool 4

Fish consumption advice has been updated for 2010 and the few minor changes made are reflected in "Choose Wisely: A Health Guide for Eating Fish in Wisconsin."

The guide is available online at

consumption/FishAdvisoryweb2010lo.pdf and at Department of Natural Resources service centers.

Pool 4 of the Mississippi River is one of the bodies of water that has a special advisory.

DNR and the Department of Health Services jointly issue the advice to help anglers and their families enjoy eating fish they catch from Wisconsin waters or purchase, while reducing their exposure to environmental contaminants.

"Everybody who eats fish, whether they're eating what they caught or what they bought at a store or restaurant, should review the updated advice and follow it to reduce their exposure to contaminants like mercury and PCBs," said Candy Schrank, the toxicologist who coordinates the fish consumption advisory for the Department of Natural Resources.

Eat smaller fish

People who frequently eat fish should choose fish species and sizes with the lowest levels of contaminants.

Panfish and younger, smaller fish are best; older, larger predator and fatty fish accumulate the highest levels of contaminants.

"Fish are an inexpensive, low-fat source of protein that offer many other health benefits," says Dr. Henry Anderson. "People should put their fish consumption habits in context with the advice found in 'Choose Wisely.' Most will find they do not have to change their current fish-eating habits."

Because fish from most waters contain mercury, statewide safe-eating guidelines provide the same advice for most inland waters, but there are special exceptions for 102 lakes where higher levels of mercury have been found in fish, and for 49 river reaches where higher levels of PCBs and other chemicals have been found.

Pool 4 guidelines for what to eat

Eat no more than one meal a week or 52 meals per year

• Bluegill (PFOS), all sizes

• Crappie (PFOS), all sizes

Eat no more than one meal a month or 12 meals per year

• Buffalo, all sizes

• Carp, all sizes

• Channel Catfish, all sizes

• Flathead Catfish, larger than 20 inches

• White Bass, all sizes

Source: Choose Wisely: A Healthy Guide for Eating Fish in Wisconsin