West Virginia Fish Consumption Advisories

West Virginia Fish Consumption - Image

Current Advisories

Sections:
Suggested Meal Sizes
General Advisories
Specific Advisories

Current Advisory Document ImageFor a printed Copy of the Current Advisory Information Page click the image at right:

Fish Consumption Advisories Available for 2018

The West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources (DHHR)current West Virginia Sport Fish Consumption Advisory for 2018. West Virginia DHHR, through an interagency agreement, partners with the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and the Division of Natural Resources (DNR) to develop consumption advisories for fish caught in West Virginia. Fish consumption advisories are reviewed annually and help West Virginia anglers make educated choices about eating the fish they catch.

Certain West Virginia sport fish have been found to have low levels of chemicals like polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), mercury, selenium and dioxin. To protect the good health of West Virginians, the West Virginia DHHR offers an advisory for how often these fish can be safely eaten. An advisory is advice, and should not be viewed as law or regulation. It is intended to help anglers and their families make educated choices about: where to fish, what types of fish to eat, how to limit the amount and frequency of fish eaten, and how to prepare and cook fish to reduce contaminants.

This advisory cover’s only sport fish caught in West Virginia waters. Safety regulations and advisories for fish in the market place are the responsibility of the Federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA). For more information you can contact the FDA at: https://www.fda.gov/Food/ResourcesForYou/Consumers/ucm393070.htm

The following 2018 advisory recommendation is the result of reviewing new and recent fish tissue data. Data collected from lakes and rivers in West Virginia show that a general statewide advisory of sport-caught fish is appropriate. A review of this information indicates that mercury, PCBs, and dioxin are the chemicals of the greatest concern. The Statewide General Consumption Advisories listed below are based on analysis of fish collected from waters across the state. Mercury levels drive the majority of the consumption advisories, with PCBs being much less widespread. Selenium has been measured from certain waters at low levels that do not require consumption restrictions beyond those in place for other contaminants.

If you would like more detailed information about these contaminants and the levels measured, consult the DHHR Web Site at: http://www.wvdhhr.org/fish/General_Advisories.asp.

Body weight and meal size are important factors in fish advisories. Use this chart to find the size of meal that corresponds to your body weight. This advisory is designed to keep the amount of chemicals you eat at a safe level.

Meal Sizes

A person weighing between

Should eat no more than this amount per meal

pounds

ounces of precooked fish

20 or less

1.0

21-35

1.5

36-50

2.0

51-70

3.0

71-90

4.0

91-110

5.0

111-130

6.0

131-150

7.0

151 and over

8.0

Remember that 3.0 ounces of precooked fish is about the size of the palm of your hand or a deck of cards

Remember that 1.5 ounces of precooked fish is about one-half the size of the palm of your hand or one-half of a deck of cards

Find the meal advice for the fish you’ve caught. “Do Not Eat” means you should not eat those fish because of higher contamination. The other groups (“One Meal a Week”, “Two meals a Month”, “One Meal a Month”, and “Six Meals a Year”) are advice for how often to eat fish.

Women of childbearing age, children, and people who regularly eat fish are particularly susceptible to contaminants that build up over time. If you fall into one of these categories, you should be especially careful to follow the meal sizes and space fish meals out according to the advisory tables.

Your body can get rid of some contaminants over time. Spacing the meals out helps prevent the contaminants from building up to harmful levels in the body. For example, if the fish you eat is in the “One Meal a Month Group”, wait a month before eating another meal of fish from any restricted category. Occasionally eating fish in quantities slightly greater than the advisories recommend, such as during an annual fishing vacation, should not present a health hazard.Follow the advice presented in this advisory, noting the differences between the General and Specific Advisories for all West Virginia waters and the Ohio River Advisory.

Follow the advice presented in this advisory, noting the differences between the General Advisories for all West Virginia waters and the more restrictive Specific Advisories.

Waterbodies of Specific Concern in West Virginia's 2018 Fish Consumption Advisory

More restrictive advisories issued in 2018 affect the following water bodies:

2018 WV Specific Consumption Advisories

Water Body

 

Species

 

Limit your fish meals to:

 

Contaminant(s)*

 

Bluestone River

 

Carp

 

1 meal a month

 

PCBs

 

Fish Creek

 

Smallmouth Bass, all sizes

 

1 meal a month

 

Mercury

 

Flat Fork Creek

 

Carp

 

Do not eat

 

PCBs

 

Channel Catfish, all sizes

 

Suckers

 

Kanawha River

downstream of I-64 bridge in Dunbar, down to Winfield Lock and Dam including all backwaters, Armour Creek, Heizer Creek, Manila Creek, lower two miles Pocatalico River.

 

Flathead Catfish, all sizes

 

Do not eat

 

Dioxin*
Mercury
PCBs

 

Channel Catfish, all sizes

 

Carp

 

Hybrid Striped Bass

 

Suckers

 

All other species

 

1 meal a month

 

Little Kanawha and
Hughes River

 

Sauger

 

1 meal a month

 

Mercury

 

R.D. Bailey Lake

Channel Catfish greater than  17”

 6 meals a year

PCBs

Shenandoah River

 

Carp

Do not eat

Mercury
PCBs*

Smallmouth bass

1 meal a month

Mercury

Summersville Lake

 

Flathead Catfish, all sizes

 

1 meal a month

 

Mercury

 

Walleye

 

1 meal a month

Sutton Lake

 

Black Bass, greater than 12"

 

1 meal a month

 

Mercury

 

Note: Contaminant- Meal Limits are determined by the chemical with asterisk. Other chemicals, such as dioxin, (Hg) methyl mercury may have an advisory at a less restrictive level.

PCBs: Polychlorinated Biphenyls

Ohio River Consumption Advisory - The protocol used to determine Ohio River fish consumption advisories (ORFCAP) is the product of the efforts of a multi-agency workgroup consisting of representatives from the six main stem states (Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia) as well as the US EPA and the Ohio River Valley Water Sanitation Commission (ORSANCO) to develop consistent fish advisories along the Ohio River main stem. The online Ohio River advisory is available at: http://216.68.102.178/comm/fishconsumption/default.asp , please refer to the website for recent updates.

2018 Ohio River Consumption Advisory

 

Ohio River Segment

 

Species

 

Limit your fish meals to:

 

Contaminant(s)*

Pennsylvania

Border (East

Liverpool) to

Belleville Lock (Brooke

Hancock, Marshall

Ohio, Pleasants

Tyler, Wetzel, Wood

Counties)

 

Channel Catfish 18” and over

 

Do Not Eat

   

PCBs

 

 

Channel Catfish less than 18”,

Common Carp, Striped Bass Hybrid,

White Bass

 

 

6 meals a year

 

Black Crappie

Flathead Catfish

Freshwater Drum 14”and over

Largemouth Bass

Sauger

Saugeye

Smallmouth Bass

Smallmouth Buffalo

Spotted Bass

All Suckers

Walleye

White Crappie

 

 

 

1 meal a month

Belleville Lock to the Kentucky Border (Cabell, Jackson Mason, Wayne Counties)

 

 Striped Hybrid Bass

Channel Catfish 18” and over

 

6 meals a year

 

 

PCBs

 

 

Channel Catfish less than 18”

Common Carp

Flathead Catfish

Freshwater Drum 14” and over

Striped Bass

Striped Bass Hybrid

All Suckers

White Bass

 

 

1 meal a month

Note:*Contaminant- Meal Limits are determined by the chemical with asterisk.  Other chemicals, such as dioxin, (Hg) methyl mercury may have an advisory at a less restrictive level.

PCBs: Polychlorinated Biphenyls

For further information or the most current advice consult the WV DHHR Web Site at www.wvdhhr.org/fish or call (304) 558-2981.

Other contacts: