Is the fish you caught safe to eat? Consult this guide before you decide

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Catch a good fish lately? Want to know if it’s safe to eat? The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services published its 2022 guide to eating fish safely.

The guides are intended to help anglers minimize exposure to chemicals that can accumulate in fish while enjoying all the benefits of eating fresh fish.

The guidelines are based on the levels of chemicals found in the portions of fish people eat, usually fillets. The MDHHS Office of Laboratories conducted tests to determine what is safe for people to eat over the long term.

After: Michigan Fishing Guide: Season Open Dates Every Angler Should Know

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Don’t eat reviews

An update is a do-not-eat advisory for bluegill and bluegill caught in the Lower Red River and the Main River from the Ford Estate Dam to the Detroit River.

These fish were tested in 2021 and found elevated levels of perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS), a type of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substance (SPFA).

Other species of fish caught in 2019 and 2021 from the same stretch of the river were found to be contaminated, but not at levels requiring a do not eat advisory.

Authorities are still investigating possible sources of PFOS contamination. There is also historical PCB contamination for this stretch of river.

Huron River do not eat advisory lifted for some fish

Another update lifts the no-fish advisory for most fish species from a specific stretch of the Huron River.

The advisory was lifted for the stretch of river from which it crosses I-275 in Wayne County to the river’s mouth at Lake Erie, including the Flat Rock Impoundment.

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Although the advisory has been lifted for most fish species, guidelines are still in place for the following:

  • Bluegill and sunfish have eight recommended MI servings per month due to PFOS.

  • Carp have a recommended “limited” category for fish under 28″ and a recommended “Do Not Eat” category for fish over 28″ due to polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and dioxins. Fish in the “Limited” category should not be consumed by people under the age of 15, those who have health problems such as cancer or diabetes, those who may have children in the next few years, those who are pregnant or breastfeeding. It is recommended that people who do not belong to any of these categories limit their consumption to one to two servings per year.

  • Catfish has a recommended MI serving per month due to PCBs.

  • Largemouth Bass and Smallmouth Bass have four recommended servings of MI per month due to PCBs and mercury.

  • Bass still have a recommended “Do Not Eat” advisory due to PFOS.

  • For other fish species, refer to state guidelines.

The no-eating advisory is in effect for the Huron River where it crosses North Wixom Road in Oakland County to where the river crosses I-275.

This includes: Norton Creek (Oakland County), Hubbell Pond also known as Mill Pond (Oakland County), Kent Lake (Oakland County), Ore Lake (Livingston County), Strawberry & Zukey Lakes (Livingston County), Gallagher Lake (Livingston County), Loon Lake (Livingston County), Whitewood Lakes (Livingston County), Base Line & Portage Lakes (Livingston/Washtenaw County boundary), Barton Pond (Livingston County) Washtenaw), Geddes Pond (Washtenaw County), Argo Pond (Washtenaw County), Lake Ford (Washtenaw County) and Lake Belleville (Wayne County).

The Eat Safe Fish guidelines are not laws and are not regulations. You don’t have to follow them. This is just information for those who want it.

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Check out Southeast Michigan’s Eat Safe Fish guide below.


For more information on how to buy, eat or prepare fish safely, or to get the 2022 Guide to eating fish safely for your region, visit Michigan.gov/EatSafeFish and click on Find your region or call 800-648-6942.


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