General and Statewide Advisories
The Ohio Department of Health advises that everyone limit consumption of sport fish caught from all water bodies in Ohio to one meal per week, unless there is a more or less restrictive advisory.
The one meal per week advisory protects sensitive populations, including women of child bearing age and children under age 15.
Listings of water bodies sampled for fish contaminants are available here.
Statewide/Nationwide Mercury Advisory for Sensitive Populations
The statewide mercury advisory is primarily for women of child-bearing age and children age 15 and under. They are advised to eat no more than one meal per week of fish (any species) from any Ohio water body unless there is a more or less restrictive advisory. Although the one meal per week advice applies mainly to these sensitive populations, the general advisory recommends that everyone follow that advice.
The United States Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) jointly issued a national mercury-related advisory for store-bought fish and fish served in restaurants. This advice is for women of child-bearing age and young children. This advice states:
Do not eat Shark, Swordfish, King Mackerel, or Tilefish because they contain high levels of mercury.
Eat up to 12 ounces (two average meals) a week of a variety of fish and shellfish that are lower in mercury.
Five of the most commonly eaten fish that are low in mercury are shrimp, canned light tuna, salmon, pollock, and catfish.
Another commonly eaten fish, albacore ("white") tuna has more mercury than canned light tuna. So, when choosing your two meals of fish and shellfish, you may eat up to six ounces (one average meal) of albacore tuna per week.
Check local advisories about the safety of fish caught by family and friends in your local lakes, rivers and coastal areas. If no advice is available, you may eat up to six ounces (one average meal) per week of fish you catch from local waters, but don't consume any other fish during that week.