Chicago Sun-Times
Stray Casts will intelligently report and observe, hopefully with a touch of wit, on daily occurrences, reports and releases related to Chicago-area outdoors from bucks to bass to birds to bugs

Illinois outdoors: Fish advisories

| 1 Comment | No TrackBacks

The annual consumption advisories from the Illinois Department of Public Health for sport fish caught in Illinois waters may be some of the most overblown and worthless words to come each year, the ones for 2011 were released today.

The reason I call them overblown is if you read what the advisories apply to, it is not based in any real human habits, but apply (I'm sure technically correctly) to odd hypothetical situations.

However, the times when I have paid close attention to the advisories is when my wife was pregnant or breast feeding. That's a time worth erring on the side of caution.

Of note for Chicago outdoors are new advisories for the DuPage River and Nippersink Creek.

Here is the general release from the IDPH with the link to the general advisory in it:

2011 Sports Fish Consumption Advisory


SPRINGFIELD -
The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) today announced the 2011 consumption advisories for sport fish caught in Illinois waters. This year, new advisories are being issued for the following lakes and rivers: Big Muddy River and tributaries in Washington, Jefferson, Perry, Franklin, Jackson and Williamson counties; DuPage River in DuPage County; Lake Sara in Effingham County; Nippersink Creek in McHenry County; Bureau Creek in Bureau County; and Elkhorn Creek in Whiteside County. Additionally, several less-restrictive advisories have been issued this year.

The Illinois Fish Contaminant Monitoring Program screens fish samples from approximately 40 bodies of water each year for contamination from 14 banned pesticides and industrial chemicals. The program is a joint effort of the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA) and the departments of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Public Health.

The fish are collected by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) and tested by IEPA. IDPH issues an annual consumption advisory based on the IEPA test results. This year's advisory is included in the 2011 Illinois Fishing Information booklet, which is available from IDNR and from businesses that sell state fishing licenses. The advisory also can be found on the IDPH Web site www.idph.state.il.us/envhealth/fishadv09/fishadvisory09.htm.

"The advisories are not meant to discourage people from eating fish, but should be used as a guideline to help people decide the types of fish to eat and how often," said Illinois Department of Public Health Director Dr. Damon T. Arnold. "Fish are a good source of high quality protein and other nutrients and are low in fat. However, contaminants may make some fish unsafe to eat except in limited quantities, particularly for women of childbearing age and young children."

While there is no known immediate health hazard from eating contaminated fish from any body of water in Illinois, there are concerns about the effects of long-term, low-level exposure to pesticides and chemicals, such as chlordane, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), and methylmercury. Methylmercury has been found to cause reproductive damage and have adverse effects on the central nervous system, including developmental delays.

The advisories are based primarily on protecting sensitive populations, including women of childbearing age, pregnant women, fetuses, nursing mothers and children younger than 15 years of age.

The changes to the 2011 advisory include:

Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB levels)
• Bureau Creek - Bureau County
­ Carp larger than 22 inches should be limited to one meal per month.
­ Channel catfish smaller than 25 inches should be limited to one meal per week; larger than 25 inches should be limited to one meal per month.
• Des Plaines River - Between Route 120 and Hoffman Dam in Cook and Will counties
­ All sizes of Carp should now be limited to one meal per month.
• Elkhorn Creek - Whiteside County
­ Channel catfish larger than 16 inches should be limited to one meal per week.
• Frank Holten State Lakes - St. Clair County
­ Carp should be limited to one meal per week.
• Fox Chain O' Lakes - Lake and McHenry counties
­ Carp larger than 17 inches should be limited to one meal per week.
• Fox River - Kane, Kendall, Lake, LaSalle and McHenry counties
­ Carp and channel catfish larger than 15 inches caught from Fox River north of I-90 should be limited to one meal per week.
­ From I-90 south to Dayton Dam, carp smaller than 15 inches should be limited to one meal per week; larger than 15 inches should be limited to one meal per month.
­ From I-90 south to Dayton Dam, all sizes of channel catfish and freshwater drum should be limited to one meal per week.
­ South of Dayton Dam, carp smaller than 15 inches should be limited to one meal per week; larger than 15 inches should be limited to one meal per month.
• Galena River - Jo Daviess
­ All channel catfish should be limited to one meal per month.
­ Carp smaller than 20 inches should be limited to one meal per week; 20 to 24 inches should be limited to one meal per month; larger than 24 inches should not be eaten.
• Lake of Egypt - Johnson and Williamson counties
­ Channel catfish have been removed from the advisory.
• Nippersink Creek - McHenry County
­ All carp should be limited to one meal per week.
• Ohio River - Three new advisories
­ Channel catfish smaller than 18 inches should be limited to one meal per week; larger than 18 inches should be limited to one meal per month.
­ Carp smaller than 22 inches should be limited to one meal per week; larger than 22 inches should be limited to one meal per month.
­ All sizes of sauger should be limited to one meal per week.
• Raccoon Lake - Marion County
­ Carp smaller than 23 inches should be limited to one meal per week; larger than 23 inches should be limited to one meal per month.
• Salt Creek - Cook and Du Page counties
­ Carp smaller than 24 inches should be limited to one meal per month; larger than 24 inches should be limited to six meals per year.
• Sangamon River South Fork - Sangamon County
­ Carp has been removed from the advisory.

Methylmercury
• Big Muddy River and tributaries - Franklin, Hamilton, Jackson, Jefferson, Marion, Union, Washington and Williamson counties.
­ All sizes of largemouth bass should be limited to one meal per month for sensitive populations; one meal per week for all others.
­ All sizes of crappie should be limited to one meal per week for sensitive populations; unlimited for all others.
­ All sizes of carp should be limited to one meal per month for sensitive populations; one meal per week for all others.
• Du Page River - (Headwaters to Route 6) Du Page County
­ Smallmouth bass larger than 15 inches should be limited to one meal per month for sensitive populations; one meal per week for all others.
• Lake Sara - Effingham County
­ Largemouth Bass larger than 14 inches should be limited to one meal per month for sensitive populations; one meal per week for all others.
• Nippersink Creek - McHenry County
­ Smallmouth Bass larger than 14 inches should be limited to one meal per month for sensitive populations; one meal per week for all others.
• Ohio River - Alexander, Gallatin, Hardin, Massac, Pope and Pulaski counties
­ All sizes of striped, hybrid striped and white bass should be limited to one meal per month for sensitive populations; one meal per week for all others.

The statewide mercury advisory cautions sensitive populations to eat no more than one meal per week of predator fish, which pose a greater risk because they feed on other fish and accumulate higher amounts of methylmercury. Predator fish include all species of black bass, (largemouth, smallmouth and spotted) striped bass, white bass, hybrid striped bass, flathead catfish, muskellunge, northern pike, saugeye, sauger, and walleye.

Women beyond childbearing age and males older than 15 years of age may eat unlimited quantities of predator fish, with the exception of the fish caught from the 26 bodies of water that are on the special mercury advisory. These include:

• Arrowhead Lake
• Big Muddy River and tributaries
• Campus Lake
• Cedar Lake
• Devil's Kitchen Lake
• DuPage River (Headwaters to Route 6)
• Evergreen Lake
• Heidecke Lake
• Kinkaid Lake
• Lake Bracken
• Lake in the Hills
• Lake Jacksonville
• Lake Renwick East
• Lake Sara
• Little Grassy Lake
• Little Wabash River and tributaries
• Marquette Park Lagoon
• Midlothian Reservoir
• Monee Reservoir
• Mt. Olive New City Lake
• Nippersink Creek
• Ohio River
• Pana Lake
• Rock River (Rockford to Milan Steel Dam)
• Sam Parr Lake
• Wabash River

For fish that may contain PCBs and chlordane, the advisory provides consumption advice in five categories - unlimited consumption, no more than one meal per week, no more than one meal per month, no more than six meals per year and do not eat.

Anglers who vary the type and source of sport fish consumed - opting for younger, smaller fish, and consuming leaner species such as walleye and panfish over fatty species such as carp and catfish, and who prepare and cook fish in ways that reduce the amount of contaminants - can limit their exposure to harmful substances that may be found in fish.

Several ways to reduce any PCBs and chlordane present in edible portions of fish include:
• Remove the skin from the fillet and cut away any fatty tissue from the belly and dorsal areas before cooking.
• Broil, bake or grill in a way that allows fat to drip away.
• Discard fat drippings or broth from broiled or poached fish. Do not use in other dishes.

These precautions will not reduce the amount of methylmercury in fish. Mercury is found throughout a fish's muscle tissue (the edible part of the fish) rather than in the fat and skin. Therefore, the only way to reduce mercury intake is to reduce the amount of contaminated fish eaten.


No TrackBacks

TrackBack URL: http://blogs.suntimes.com/cgi-bin/mt-tb.cgi/38538

1 Comment

And we haveno idea how the state is broke?

Leave a comment

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Dale Bowman published on January 21, 2011 1:47 PM.

Chicago outdoors showtime: Bear help was the previous entry in this blog.

Buck of the Week: Unplugged at Resurrection is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.