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Going Fishing? Catch and Release or Make a Meal

2016 Ohio Sport Fish Consumption Advisory Reflects Changes in Water and Fish Tissue Quality

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 link 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.


The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency was created in 1972 to consolidate efforts to protect and improve air quality, water quality and waste management in Ohio. Since then, air pollutants dropped by as much as 90 percent; large rivers meeting standards improved from 21 percent to 89 percent; and hundreds of polluting, open dumps were replaced with engineered landfills and an increased emphasis on waste reduction and recycling.

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