ALABAMA (WHNT) — The Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH) is recommending Alabamians refrain from eating certain species of fish in some local rivers and lakes across the state.
ADPH issued an advisory, listing which fish species people need to avoid. The goal is to let people know the potential health risk associated with consuming certain fish.
Fishing is a huge deal across North Alabama, but before people return to their local lakes and rivers, they should know that there are some fish that officials are recommending you avoid.
After lakes and rivers throughout the state were evaluated by the Alabama Department of Environmental Management, different species of fish were discovered to have high levels of mercury.
If consumed at high rates, mercury can lead to problems within a person’s central nervous system as well as possible cardiovascular issues.
Jerome Hand with the Alabama Department of Environmental Management says recommended fish consumptions vary.
“The Department of Public Health decided you know, that you might can eat one serving a week or two servings a week,” Hand told News 19.
For example, Lake Guntersville’s Town Creek houses largemouth bass in which the advisory recommends people refrain from eating. However, Widows Creek is also a part of Lake Guntersville and houses the same fish, but the advisory for this body of water limits consumption of largemouth bass to once a month.
The advisories focus on certain species of fish that officials say can be harmful, but for areas with advisories, swimming, boating, as well as catch and release fishing are considered safe.
Officials with ADEM say people launching their rods should be aware of the information that surrounds local lakes and rivers.
“What we’re concerned about at ADEM is getting our message out to folks and we have completed putting signs up across the state and they all have a QR code on them where people can scan them and see the fish consumption advisories where they live,” Hand said.
The statewide fish advisory will run through the end of the year. A map that provides a visualize the different bodies of water that are affected by the advisory and which species of fish you should avoid can be found here.