Health department updates list of Illinois waters for fish consumption advisories

Lake Chaminwood in Channahon in Will County

The Illinois Department of Public Health has issued advisories for sport fish caught in Illinois waters.

These changes are the result of continued sampling by the Illinois Fish Contaminant Monitoring Program. IDPH maintains an interactive Fish Advisory Map that includes consumption advisories for more than 100 publicly accessible bodies of water across the state.

This year, Lake Chaminwood in Channahon, Lake McMaster in Victoria and Ramsey Lake in Vandalia have been added to the list of waters with site-specific methylmercury advisories and issued more restrictive advisories for certain species in Anna State Pond, Lake Nellie, Wabash River, and Arrowhead, Gillespie, Kinkaid, and Pinckneyville City Lakes.

In line with the statewide trend of declining polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) levels, no new PCB advisories were issued. PCB advisories were relaxed for certain species in the Fox Chain O’Lakes, the Illinois River, and Waukegan North Harbor. PCB advisories were removed for certain species in the Fox Chain O’Lakes, Frank Holten State Lakes, Powerton Lake, and the Illinois, Mackinaw, Mississippi, and Wabash Rivers. Most notably, all PCB advisories were removed for channel catfish throughout the Mississippi River.

In addition to this year’s site-specific updates, a statewide methylmercury advisory remains in place for all Illinois waters. The statewide advisory cautions sensitive populations (those who are nursing, pregnant, or may become pregnant, and children less than 15 years of age) to eat no more than one meal per week of predatory fish. Predatory fish include all species of black bass, gar, salmon, and trout, as well as striped bass, white bass, walleye, sauger, flathead catfish, muskellunge, northern pike, and associated hybrids.

While there is no known immediate health hazard from eating contaminated fish from any Illinois water body, there are concerns about effects of long-term, low-level exposure to PCBs and methylmercury in fish. More information is at the IDPH Fish Advisories website.