Ohio is a water-rich state with ample opportunities for anglers to enjoy a peaceful day of fishing. Whether you’re trolling on Lake Erie or fly fishing on the Mad River, one of the most important things you can do before enjoying a taste of your catch is to review the sport fish consumption advisories.
Click here for
a quick one-page summary of the consumption advisory that you can print and carry with your license.
Each year, Ohio EPA partners with the Ohio Department of Health and the Ohio Department of Natural Resources to develop consumption advisories for fish caught in Ohio. Fish consumption advisories are updated annually based on processed samples collected during the previous fishing season to help Ohio's fishing community make educated choices about consuming their catch.
This year, a statewide advisory recommending a limit of one Ohio-caught sports fish meal per week continues for all Ohio water bodies due to mercury deposition in waterways, except in areas where there is a more restrictive advisory.
Ohio EPA has added 12 locations to the list of places where fish should be eaten no more frequently than once a month due to mercury. They include:
- Dow Lake (Athens County) - largemouth bass;
- Four Mile Creek (Butler County) - smallmouth bass 17 inches and over;
- Grand River (Ashtabula, Geauga, Lake and Trumbull counties) - rock bass;
- Hocking River (Hocking and Athens counties) - walleye and spotted bass 13 inches and over;
- Killdeer Pond #30 (Wyandot County) - largemouth bass;
- Ross Lake (Ross County) - channel catfish 20 inches and over;
- Schoonover Lake (Allen County) - largemouth bass;
- Scioto River (Delaware, Hardin and Marion counties) - white crappie 11 inches and over;
- Sevenmile Creek (Butler County) - rock bass;
- St. Joseph Lake (Perry County) - largemouth bass;
- Stillwater River (Darke, Miami and Montgomery counties) - rock bass 8 inches and over and largemouth bass 13 inches and over; and
- Tuscarawas River (Coshocton, Stark, Summit and Tuscarawas counties) - northern pike 25 inches and over, and freshwater drum.
- Twin Creek (Montgomery, Preble, Warren counties) - smallmouth bass 13 inches and over.
There are four new locations where fish should be eaten no more than once a month due to elevated PCB levels. They include:
- Grand River (Ashtabula and Lake counties) - rainbow trout;
- Hocking River (Athens County) - freshwater drum;
- Ohio River (All Ohio waters) - sauger and smallmouth buffalo; and
- Tuscarawas River (Coshocton and Tuscarawas counties) - freshwater drum and walleye.
Since 1994, the Tuscarawas River has had a one-meal-per-month advisory for hexachlorobenzene contamination. Since that time, the primary hexachlorobenzene source has been monitored and current levels indicate that fish there may now be eaten once per week. Levels of hexachlorobenzene in fish from the Tuscarawas River are expected to continue to decline over time.
However, the Tuscarawas River has more stringent advisories for additional species due to PCB contamination. They include:
- limit meals of channel catfish and flathead catfish under 26 inches to once every two months; and
- DO NOT EAT flathead catfish over 26 inches.
An advisory also has been added due to DDT contamination in Duck Creek (Washington County). Common carp and sauger should not be eaten more than once a month.
Fish advisories are most significant for women of child-bearing age, pregnant and nursing mothers and children under 15, when mercury is present. Fish contaminated with high levels of mercury have been shown to cause neurological damage and impaired development of young children. More detailed information about fish consumption for those affected can be found at Women, Infant and Children (WIC) centers.
For more details on fish advisories in Ohio, consult Ohio EPA's Web site at: http://www.epa.state.oh.us/dsw/fishadvisory/index.html, or call 1-800-755-4769.
For more information about fishing licenses and opportunities throughout the state, click on the links below.
Ohio Department of Health
Public Interest Center