Health Department Issues 1999/2000 Fish Advisories for Recreational Anglers
Albany, June 18, 1999 –The State Health Department today released the 1999–2000 Health Advisories for recreational fishing which include changes in the current advisories for the Hudson River, Hoosic River (Rensselaer County), Onondaga Lake (Onondaga County), Canadice Lake (Ontario County) and Gill Creek (Niagara County) and a new advisory for Ashokan Reservoir (Ulster County).
The advisories are for sportfish that people catch recreationally and are not for commercial fish sold in markets. The advisories identify fish from more than 60 water–bodies in New York (including those discussed below) where sportfish have elevated levels of chemical contaminants. The advisories help people minimize their exposure to contaminants in sportfish and game and reduce health risks.
The advisories are published each spring by the State Health Department and each fall in the Fishing and Hunting and Trapping Regulations Guides issued by the State Department of Environmental Conservation. The State Health Department develops the advisories based on data from the State Department of Environmental Conservation's on–going fish and wildlife monitoring programs.
Special advice for women, infants and children has not changed. Women of childbearing age, infants and children under the age of 15 are advised to EAT NO FISH from the waters listed in the advisories because chemicals may affect developing organs in young children or the fetus, and can build up in women's bodies or be passed on in mother's milk.
Advisory Changes and New Advisories
Hudson River Between the Federal Dam at Troy and the Bridge at Catskill
–– The new advisory is to EAT NO MORE THAN ONE MEAL PER MONTH of alewife, blueback herring, rock bass and yellow perch. Advisories to eat no more than one meal per week of American shad and EAT NONE for all other fish species remain in effect for this part of the Hudson River. This is a change from the previous advisory to EAT NO fish (except American shad) from the Hudson River between Troy and Catskill and is based on consistently lower PCB levels in some fish species.
Hudson River Between Dobbs Ferry and Greystone
–– The new advisory on eating American eel taken from a two–mile section of the Hudson River between Dobbs Ferry and Greystone is EAT NONE for American eel. This replaces the previous American eel advisory to EAT NO MORE THAN ONE MEAL PER MONTH and is based on new data showing high PCB levels in eels caught in the vicinity of the Hastings–on–Hudson hazardous waste site (Dobbs Ferry and Greystone are located approximately one mile north and south of the Hastings–on–Hudson hazardous waste site, respectively.) The advisory to EAT NO MORE THAN ONE MEAL PER MONTH of Atlantic needlefish, bluefish, carp, goldfish, largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, rainbow smelt, striped bass, walleye, white catfish and white perch remains in effect for these waters. The advisory for other waters from the bridge at Catskill south to and including the Upper Bay of New York Harbor remains EAT NO MORE THAN ONE MEAL PER MONTH of American eel, Atlantic needlefish, bluefish, carp, goldfish, largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, rainbow smelt, striped bass, walleye, white catfish and white perch.
Hoosic River (Rensselaer County)
–– The new advisory is EAT NO MORE THAN ONE MEAL PER MONTH of brown trout larger than 14 inches. For smaller brown trout and all rainbow trout, the general advisory (eat no more than one meal per week) now applies. Previous advice to EAT NO MORE THAN ONE MEAL PER MONTH for brown and rainbow trout of all sizes has been changed because new data show lower concentrations of PCBs in rainbow trout of all sizes and smaller brown trout.
Ashokan Reservoir (Ulster County)
–– The new advisory is EAT NO MORE THAN ONE MEAL PER MONTH of smallmouth bass larger than 16 inches. This advisory is due to new data showing elevated mercury levels in larger smallmouth bass.
Onondaga Lake (Onondaga County)
–– The new advisory is are EAT NONE for walleye and EAT NO MORE THAN ONE MEAL PER MONTH for all other fish species. This replaces the previous advisory (All species, EAT NONE) and is based on data showing higher mercury levels in walleye and reduced mercury levels in channel catfish, largemouth and smallmouth bass, northern pike and white perch.
Canadice Lake (Ontario County)
–– The new advisory is EAT NO MORE THAN ONE MEAL PER MONTH for all sizes of lake and brown trout and is based on new data showing reduced PCB levels. This replaces the previous advisory to EAT NONE for lake and brown trout over 21 inches long.
Gill Creek (Niagara County)
–– The previous advisory for Gill Creek from Hyde Park Dam downstream to its mouth on the Niagara River (ALL SPECIES, EAT NONE) has been removed based on new data showing lower PCB levels in black crappie, largemouth bass, white perch, brown bullhead and bluegill. Contaminated sediment was removed from Gill Creek before the fish were sampled. The pre–existing advisory for the Niagara River above Niagara Falls (EAT NO MORE THAN ONE MEAL PER MONTH of carp) now applies to this portion of Gill Creek because Gill Creek is a tributary of the upper Niagara River and the Hyde Park Lake Dam is the first barrier impassable by fish from the upper Niagara River.
The Health Department's general advisory to recreational anglers for sportfish taken from any fresh waters in the state and some marine waters at the mouth of the Hudson River is to eat no more than one meal (½ pound) per week and has not changed. Women of childbearing age, infants and children under the age of 15 are advised to avoid eating any sportfish from any of the waters where EAT NONE or EAT NO MORE THAN ONE MEAL PER MONTH advisories are in effect.
A copy of the health advisories for fish and wildlife can be obtained by calling the State Health Department's environmental health information line at 1–800–458–1158 or via the department's website at http://www.health.state.ny.us/environmental/outdoors/fish/fish.htm or can be requested via e–mail: firstname.lastname@example.org