Health Department Issues 1996/1997 Fish Consumption Advisories for Recreational Anglers
April 4 -- The State Health Department's 1996-97 fish consumption advisories for recreational fishing include new advice and changes in existing advisories on consumption of fish. New data has lead to changes in the advisories for two waterbodies in the Adirondacks (Cranberry Lake and Stillwater Reservoir), sections of the Mohawk and Hudson Rivers, Lake Ontario and Jamaica Bay. These advisories are for sportfish that people take and are not for fish sold in markets.
The new advisories were developed by the Health Department, primarily based on sample results provided by the State Department of Environmental Conservation. Affected waterbodies, advisories, and contaminants responsible for new advisories and advisory changes are listed below:
(St. Lawrence County)
|Smallmouth bass, EAT NO MORE THAN ONE MEAL (1/2 pound) PER MONTH||Mercury|
|Stillwater Reservoir (Herkimer County)||Yellow perch over 9" long and smallmouth bass, EAT NO THAN ONE MEAL PER MONTH||Mercury|
|Mohawk River between Oriskany and West Canada Creeks (Oneida and Herkimer Counties)||Largemouth bass and tiger muskellunge, EAT NO MORE THAN ONE MEAL PER MONTH||PCB|
|Niagara River below Niagara Falls, Lake Ontario, St. Lawrence River and tributaries||Rainbow trout, EAT NONE||Mirex, PCB|
|Hudson River between Niagara Mohawk Boat Launch (above Sherman Island Dam) to Sherman Island Dam (Warren and Saratoaga Counties)||All species, EAT NONE||PCB|
|Hudson River between Spier Falls Dam to the Naigara Mohawk Boat Launch (Warren and Saratoga Counties)||All species, EAT NO MORE THAN ONE MEAL PER WEEK|
|Hudson River between Sherman Island Dam and Feeder Dam at South Glens Falls (Warren and Saratoga Counties)||Carp, EAT NO MORE THAN ONE MEAL PER MONTH||PCB|
|Jamaica Bay||Striped Bass, EAT NO MORE THAN ONE MEAL PER WEEK||PCB|
New data show elevated mercury levels in smallmouth bass from Cranberry Lake and smallmouth bass and large yellow perch from Stillwater Reservoir. These data led to new advisories to EAT NO MORE THAN ONE MEAL PER MONTH of smallmouth bass from Cranberry Lake and smallmouth bass and larger yellow perch (over 9 inches long) from Stillwater Reservoir. A previous advisory to EAT NO MORE THAN ONE MEAL PER MONTH of splake from Stillwater Reservoir remains in effect.
New data indicate that PCBs are elevated in largemouth bass and tiger muskellunge from a portion of the Mohawk River where only carp were under a restrictive advisory. Based on these data, new advisories to EAT NO MORE THAN ONE MEAL PER MONTH of largemouth bass and tiger muskellunge from the Mohawk River between the Oriskany and West Canada Creeks have been added to previous advice (still in effect) to EAT NO carp from this part of the Mohawk River.
The latest fish contamination data for Lake Ontario indicate that PCB and mirex levels have increased in rainbow trout. As a result of these data, the advisory for rainbow trout from the Niagara River below Niagara Falls, Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River (including tributaries of these waters upstream to the first impassable barrier) has been changed to EAT NONE for all sizes of rainbow trout. (Before this change, the EAT NONE advisory had only applied to rainbow trout more than 25 inches long). Previous advisories for several other fish species from Lake Ontario remain in effect; these are listed in the advisory booklet.
UPPER HUDSON RIVER
The area for a previous advisory to EAT NO fish from the Hudson River between Spier Falls Dam and the Sherman Island Dam has been redefined, due to new data showing lower PCB levels in fish from the upstream portion of this section of river. In response to these data, the advisory has been redefined to exclude the area from the Spier Falls dam downstream to the Niagara Mohawk boat launch so that the advisory to EAT NO fish now applies from the Niagara Mohawk Boat Launch (above the Sherman Island Dam) downstream to the Sherman Island Dam. Meanwhile, carp caught from a section of the Hudson downstream of this area have been shown to have elevated PCB levels. In response to these data, the Health Department is recommending EAT NO MORE THAN ONE MEAL PER MONTH for carp caught between the Sherman Island Dam and the Glens Falls Feeder Dam.
LOWER HUDSON RIVER AND MARINE STRIPED BASS
As a result of new data showing relatively low PCB concentrations, the advisory for Jamaica Bay striped bass has been changed to EAT NO MORE THAN ONE MEAL PER WEEK. The previous advisory was EAT NO MORE THAN ONE MEAL PER MONTH. The advisories for striped bass from other waters remain unchanged: EAT NONE for Hudson River striped bass caught upstream of Catskill; EAT NO MORE THAN ONE MEAL PER MONTH for striped bass from the Hudson River downstream of Catskill, New York Harbor, the Arthur Kill and Kill Van Kull, the East and Harlem Rivers and Long Island Sound west of Wading River; and EAT NO MORE THAN ONE MEAL PER WEEK for striped bass from eastern Long Island Sound, Block Island Sound, Peconic/Gardiners Bays and Long Island south shore waters.
The Health Department's general advisory to recreational anglers for fish taken from any fresh waterbody in the State, the Hudson River, East River, and New York Harbor north of the Verrazano Narrows Bridge is to EAT NO MORE THAN ONE MEAL (1/2 pound) PER WEEK and has not changed. There is also a standing advisory to women of childbearing age and children under the age of 15 not to consume any fish from any of these waters where EAT NONE or EAT NO MORE THAN ONE MEAL PER MONTH advisories are in effect for any fish species.
The annual advisories, published each spring by the Department of Health and included each fall in the State Department of Environmental Conservation's Fishing Regulations and Hunting and Trapping Regulations Guides, are developed primarily from data obtained by Environmental Conservation's ongoing monitoring programs. A copy of the complete fish and wildlife consumption advisories and additional information concerning health effects from exposure to chemical contaminants in fish and wildlife may be obtained by calling 1-800-458-1158, extension 409.
4/4/96-41 OPAContact: Claudia Hutton, Director, Public Affairs (518) 474-7354
New York State Department of Health Posted 4/30/96