Advisory warns against eating too many Illinois-caught fish

The state of Illinois isn’t telling anyone not to eat fish they catch in local streams and rivers, but state officials are saying some people may want to be careful.

The latest ‘Sport Fish Consumption Advisory’ doesn’t come out and say not to eat fish caught in Illinois’ rivers and streams directly. According to Melanie Arnold with the Illinois Department of Public Health, the report simply advises some people that eating too many wild-caught fish may not be the best for their health.

“Women who are pregnant, nursing, or of childbearing age. Babies and any child who is less than 15 years old. They’re what we consider a sensitive population,” Arnold said. “We advise that they eat no more than one meal per week of any predator fish caught in an Illinois body of water.”

That means limits on bass, crappie, walleye, catfish and trout, but not Asian Carp.

Arnold said tests once again show elevated levels of certain pesticides and chemicals in the water and in the fish.

“Illinois bodies of water, some of them have pesticides, chemicals, mercury that fish can ingest,” Arnold explained. “When a person eats the fish, they can ingest the materials as well.”

Illinois has tested its lakes and rivers since the mid-1970s. The 2017 Advisory is just the latest to warn moms and kids in the state not to eat too many wild-caught fish.

–Illinois News Network

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