State Health Department Issues Updated Fish Advisories

ALBANY, N.Y. (May 29, 2013) – The New York State Department of Health (DOH) today issued updated health advisories for the consumption of fish from water bodies in the State. The advisories provide important health information to New Yorkers who enjoy fishing for food, as well as for fun.

"Fish are an important part of a healthy diet and an excellent source of low-fat protein, but any sport-caught fish could contain contaminants that can be harmful to your health," said State Health Commissioner Nirav R. Shah, M.D., M.P.H. "By following the State advisories, you can continue to consume fish and reap their health benefits."

The health advisories are updated each year based on fish samples collected from different waters, and the information is available in both statewide and regional formats as well as online. DOH issues stricter advice for children under the age of 15 and women of childbearing age.

What's New this Year?

  • Women under age 50 and children under age 15 can now eat up to four meals per month of rock bass, yellow perch and burbot and up to one meal a month of any other fish besides carp and channel catfish from the Niagara River above Niagara Falls. This same advice is also in effect for Lake Erie, resulting in more options for women and children in the western region.
  • Men over age 15 and women over age 50 are now advised they can eat up to one meal per month of carp and channel catfish from Lake Erie and the Niagara River above Niagara Falls.
  • Advice has been issued to avoid eating fish or crabs from Paerdegat Basin in Jamaica Bay following an oily spill containing PCBs in 2012.
  • Three new user-friendly regional brochures are available for the St. Lawrence, Finger Lakes and Northern Hudson regions, joining existing brochures for the Adirondack, Catskill, New York City, Western and Hudson River regions of NYS.

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. DOH issues specific advice for approximately 150 waterbodies.

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