The Ohio EPA released its 2011 fish consumption advisory on Feb. 28, and although the news is good for fish lovers on three lakes, the division is issuing stricter limits for consumption of some Lake Erie fish.
According to this year’s advisory, the following updates have been issued for all of Lake Erie catch for 2011:
- One meal every two months for common carp due to PCBs;
- One meal per month for channel catfish, freshwater drum, lake trout, rock bass, smallmouth bass, steelhead trout, white bass, whitefish 18” and over, and white perch due to PCBs; and
- One meal per month for brown bullhead due to mercury.
- Walleye and yellow perch remain in the one-meal-per-week category.
There are no “do not eat” advisories for Lake Erie catch.
A statewide advisory remains in effect for one fish meal per week for all fish not otherwise listed in the advisory due to mercury still found in fish tissue samples.
Linda Oros, a public information officer with the Ohio EPA said the EPA collects fish each year for testing.
“We sample fish and test for mercury, PCBs and then base the advisory on those levels,” Oros said. “The samples are from 2009. We go out in summer, collect fish and test them in the winter. It takes a while to get all the information in.”
Fish consumption advisories are updated annually. For this advisory, Ohio EPA and ODNR evaluated 476 samples collected in 14 lakes and reservoirs and 29 streams in 2009. The information helps Ohio’s vast fishing community make informed decisions about consuming their catch.
John Arkey, the owner ofin Avon Lake said fishing season is right around the corner. The city maintains a very active fishing community.
“It will start in March and go through November,” Arkey said.
John’s Bait & Tackle, on Electric Boulevard near the CEI plant has been a longtime favorite for fishing enthusiasts. Arkey cited yellow perch and walleye as favorites of the local fishing crowd, noting that when season is in swing, the area off of Avon Point and by CEI in Avon Lake are popular fishing spots.
“Lake Erie is one of the best lakes in the world for walleye fishing,” Arkey said.
Avon Lake maintains a busy boat launch in Miller Road Park when weather permits.
Stricter limits for safely consuming your catch are also recommended for Cross Creek (Jefferson County); Duck Creek (Washington County); Great Miami River; Licking River; Little Muskingum River; Ohio River; Ottawa River (Lima); Sandusky River; Scioto River; and Wheeling Creek.
The EPA loosened its advisory on Griggs Reservoir, O’Shaugnessy Reservoir and Indian Lake for some fish, recommending individuals can now eat two fish meals per week from those water bodies.
The Ohio EPA website has full details on these advisories.