New York State Offers New Publications for Anglers About Eating Your Catch

ALBANY (June 18, 2015) - With more than 70,000 miles of rivers and streams, 7,600 lakes, ponds and reservoirs, two Great Lakes, and substantial marine waters and estuaries, New York State is an angler's paradise. Each year, approximately two million adults and 650,000 children fish New York waters both for food and for sport. To ensure that these individuals have the most up-to-date health information concerning their catches, the New York State Department of Health (DOH) has released two new publications with advice for eating fish from waters in the Hudson Valley, New York City and Long Island.

"New York State has some of the nation's best fishing, both for food and for sport," said New York State Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker. "Fish can play an important role in a healthy, well-balanced diet, however some fish contain chemicals which may be harmful to eat. By following the state's advice, New Yorkers will be able to make healthier choices about eating the fish they catch."

State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Joe Martens said, "People who love the outdoors can enjoy great fishing in lakes, ponds, rivers and streams across New York. We encourage anglers of all ages and abilities to take advantage of these opportunities, but before casting a line, they should review the Department of Health's advice on eating sportfish to ensure the fish they catch are safe to eat."

Each year, DOH reviews contaminant data from fish collected from different waters by the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation. Currently, special advisories apply to about 150 waterbodies in New York State. Much of the advice issued by DOH sets stricter guidelines for children under the age of 15 and women in their childbearing years.

For the 2015 fishing season, two regional brochures have been released. A publication for the Hudson Valley/Capital District Region offers health advice about eating fish from Saratoga County as far south as Southern Westchester County. It also includes information on public access waters where the whole family can enjoy a fish meal up to four times a month. Additionally, a new publication for Long Island and New York City offers advice for both marine and freshwater fish.

DOH has also translated many of these materials into languages including Spanish, Chinese, Russian, and Polish to ensure all New Yorkers have access to this information. The fish advisories are available online in both statewide and regional formats.

To view the complete statewide advisories for fish and game or order the new regional brochures and other free print materials, visit the DOH web site at or call 518-402-7530; toll-free at 800-458-1158.