CalEPA Updates Fish Consumption Guidelines for Inland Anglers

The California Environmental Protection Agency (CalEPA) has updated its recommendations for safely eating sport fish caught from lakes and reservoirs throughout California.

The Statewide Advisory for Eating Fish from California’s Lakes and Reservoirs without Site-Specific Advice reflects the latest data on mercury and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) that accumulate in fish and can pose a health risk to those who consume them. The new advisory covers 14 fish species — including brown trout, channel catfish, crappie, black bass and rainbow trout — twice the number covered in the original 2013 advisory.

Safe eating recommendations vary based on age, gender, and the fish species being consumed.

“Many fish have nutrients that may reduce the risk of heart disease and are excellent sources of protein,” said Dr. Lauren Zeise, Director of CalEPA’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA), which issued the new advisory this week. “We are thrilled to provide Californians with these updated guidelines so they can safely eat fish low in chemical contaminants and enjoy the well-known health benefits of fish consumption.”

OEHHA offers more than 100 advisories on safe fish consumption that apply to specific bodies of water in California, including lakes and reservoirs, as well as rivers, bays and coastal areas.

The California Department of Public Health monitors biotoxins in shellfish and issues warnings, quarantines and health advisories regarding the harvest and safe consumption of shellfish.