LANSING, MI – Michigan officials have released their 2022 “Eat Safe Fish” guides and there are several notable updates.
The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services says the guides can help Michiganders plan their fish consumption to minimize exposure to chemicals that can build up in fish, while still getting all the health benefits of fish eating.
Anglers in Southeast Michigan should pay close attention to a recent update. Specifically, a Do Not Eat advisory has been issued for bluegill and sunfish caught in the Lower Branch of the Rouge River and the Main Branch of the Rouge River from the Ford Estate Dam to the Detroit River.
Bluegill and sunfish were collected from these parts of the river in 2021 and analyzed for harmful contaminants. Due to high levels of perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS), a type of per-and polyfluoroalkyl substance (PFAS), MDHHS recommends that people avoid eating bluegill and sunfish from this stretch of the Rouge River.
Other species of fish collected in 2019 and 2021 from this same stretch of the river were found to be contaminated with PFOS, but not at levels that call for a ‘Do Not Eat’ advisory, according to the MDHHS.
Consumption guidelines for all other species of fish in this stretch of the Rouge River can be found in the Eat Safe Fish Southeast Michigan Regional Guide.
Another update includes the lifting of the ‘Do Not Eat’ fish advisory for most fish species from a specific stretch of the Huron River due to recent fish filet data. The advisory is lifted for the stretch of the Huron River from where it crosses I-275 in Wayne County to the river mouth at Lake Erie, including the Flat Rock impoundment.
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Although the ‘Do Not Eat’ fish advisory has been lifted for most fish species from this stretch of the Huron River, fish consumption guidelines are still in place for the following species:
- Bluegill and sunfish have a recommended eight servings per month due to PFOS.
- Catfish have a recommended one serving per month due to PCBs.
- Largemouth and smallmouth bass have a recommended four servings per month due to PCBs and mercury.
- Rock bass still have a recommended ‘Do Not Eat’ advisory due to PFOS.
- For other fish species, refer to the statewide guidelines
Carp have a recommended ‘Limited’ category for fish less than 28″ and a recommended ‘Do Not Eat’ category for fish greater than 28″ due to polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and dioxins.
Fish with a ‘Limited’ category should not be eaten by people under the age of 15, those who have health problems like cancer or diabetes, those who may have children in the next several years, those who are pregnant or those who are breastfeeding. People who do not fall under any of those categories are recommended to limit their consumption to one to two servings each year.
The ‘Do Not Eat’ fish advisory remains in effect for the Huron River from where the river crosses N. Wixom Road in Oakland County to where the river crosses I-275.
This includes: Norton Creek (Oakland County), Hubbell Pond also known as Mill Pond (Oakland County), Kent Lake (Oakland County), Ore Lake (Livingston County), Strawberry & Zukey Lakes (Livingston County), Gallagher Lake (Livingston County) ), Loon Lake (Livingston County), Whitewood Lakes (Livingston County), Base Line & Portage Lakes (Livingston/Washtenaw County line), Barton Pond (Washtenaw County), Geddes Pond (Washtenaw County), Argo Pond (Washtenaw County), Ford Lake (Washtenaw County), and Belleville Lake (Wayne County).
Chemicals in fish are a worldwide problem that is not limited to Michigan and other Great Lakes states. The chemicals most found in fish are mercury and PCBs. However, PFAS, including PFOS, have also been found in fish from certain bodies of water in Michigan.
In addition to the Eat Safe Fish Guides, MDHHS also produces the Buy Safe Fish Guide to help residents choose seafood that is lower in mercury from local grocery stores, fish markets and restaurants.
The Eat Safe Fish Guides and Buy Safe Fish Guide are available online at Michigan.gov/eatsafefish.
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