The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) today announced an updated consumption advisory for sport fish caught in Illinois waters. These changes are the result of continued sampling by the Fish Contaminant Monitoring Program and do not suggest that Illinois fish are becoming more or less contaminated.
“We encourage people to enjoy fishing in Illinois lakes and rivers, but want to make sure you have information about eating fish that are caught in Illinois waters. The advisories are not meant to discourage people from eating fish, but should be used as a guideline to help anglers and their families decide the types of fish to eat, how frequently, and how to prepare fish for cooking to reduce possible contaminants,” said IDPH Director Nirav D. Shah, M.D., J.D.
There is no known immediate health hazard from eating contaminated fish from any body of water in Illinois. The main concern for regularly eating fish listed on the advisories is the effect of long-term exposure to low levels of pesticides and chemicals, such as polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), dioxins, chlordane, and methylmercury.
The program is a joint effort of the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA) and the departments of Natural Resources and Public Health. The fish are collected by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) and tested by IEPA. IDPH issues fish consumption advisories based on the IEPA test results. The updated advisory and detailed information can be found on the IDPH website: https://dph.illinois.gov/topics-services/environmental-health-protection/toxicology/fish-advisories/map.