Fishing is not only a hobby, a sport and a fun, family activity, but fish can be a healthy addition to our diets. Fish contains omega-3 fatty acids, essential vitamins and minerals, and a good source of high quality protein. However, some waters are affected by human activity and contamination. The fish in these waters may have a higher level of contamination, such as mercury and other chemicals, resulting in increased contamination levels to those who consume these fish.
New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) has issued updated regional advice for waters throughout the state. Recommendations vary among groups of people, based on age and sex of the person as well as consideration for those who are pregnant. Additionally, this advisory provides information on how much fish is generally safe to consume in a given month and provides limits to the size of the fish that are safer for consumption. In our local region, the healthiest choices of fish are the white sucker, yellow perch, brown bullhead, bluegill, blueback herring, rock bass, smallmouth bass and walleye from Mohawk River/Erie Canal in specified locations. NYSDOH advises that no one eats carp caught from specific locations of the Mohawk River/Erie Canal due to the level of Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in those fish. For specific details for this region, visit https://www.health.ny.gov/environmental/outdoors/fish/health_advisories/regional/leatherstocking_and_central.htm.
If you are planning to fish in other parts of New York State and are interested in learning more about which fish are the healthier choices to consume, visit https://www.health.ny.gov/environmental/outdoors/fish/health_advisories/.