State Health Department Issues Updated Fish Advisories

ALBANY, N.Y. (June 1, 2012) – The New York State Department of Health (DOH) today issued updated advisories for the consumption of fish from waterbodies in the State. The advisories provide important health information to New Yorkers who enjoy fishing for food, as well as for fun.

"Fishing is a great recreational activity that has long been a part of the outdoor tradition in New York State, but it is important that people are aware of the health advisories for consuming certain types of fish," State Health Commissioner Nirav R. Shah, M.D., M.P.H., said. "By following New York State's fish consumption advisories New Yorkers will avoid potential health risks, and fish can continue to be eaten as part of a healthy and nutritious diet."

The advisories are included in the booklet, "Health Advice on Eating Sportfish and Game," which is updated annually using data from a sampling of fish from New York waters. The advice should be used as a health reference guide for anglers and their families.

What's New this Year?

  • Two additional waterbodies were added to the advisory list: Lewiston Reservoir in Niagara County in Western New York and a portion of the Beaver River (between High Falls Dam and Croghan Dam) in Lewis County in the Adirondacks.
  • Fish species were added, dropped or changed for existing advisories for four other Adirondack waters: Fall Lake in Hamilton County; Francis Lake in Lewis County; Schroon Lake in Warren and Essex Counties; and Cumberland Bay on Lake Champlain.
  • An additional fish species was added to the "eat up to one meal a month" category for men over 15 and women over 50 for portions of the upper Hudson River between the Corinth Dam and the dam at the Route 9 Bridge in South Glens Falls. The advice is unchanged for women of childbearing age (under 50) and children under 15 - they should not eat any fish or crabs from any part of the Hudson River downstream of Corinth.
  • New advice was added about avoiding eating fish and having contact with water in areas of blue-green algal blooms.

New York has more than 70,000 miles of rivers and streams; 7,600 lakes, ponds and reservoirs; two Great Lakes; and substantial marine waters and estuaries. Approximately two million adults and 650,000 children fish New York waters each year, and the fish advisories help them make healthier choices about which fish to eat or share with others.

DOH issues specific advice for about 150 waterbodies. This information is available as a statewide booklet and also as user-friendly regional brochures for the Adirondack, Catskill, New York City, Western, and Hudson River regions of New York State. The booklet also includes advice about eating certain game, such as waterfowl and snapping turtles.

To view the complete statewide advisories for fish and game, order free print materials, or become a partner in distributing fish advisories, visit the DOH web site at or call 518-402-7800; toll-free at 800-458-1158.