Summertime means many Alabamians are fishing.

While many anglers in the state fish for sport, releasing anything they catch, others enjoy eating what they catch. The Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH) gave notice to fishermen that fish caught in some waters in the state may contain certain health risks if consumed.

The ADPH annually updates fish consumption advisories based on data collected the preceding fall by the Alabama Department of Environmental Management (ADEM). 

Alabama has over 59,000 miles of perennial streams and rivers and 70,000 miles of ephemeral or intermittent streams, 41 public lakes and reservoirs, and some of the most varied fish habitats in the United States.

The ADEM, the Tennessee Valley Authority, and the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources analyzed samples of specific fish species for analysis from various waterbodies throughout the state during the fall of 2021. The departments took 365 samples from 34 collection stations throughout the state.

New and updated consumption advisories issued for the 34 bodies of water tested can be found on the ADPH website

The advisories are to serve as guidance to individuals who want to eat the fish they catch. No regulations ban the consumption of any of the fish caught within the state, nor is there a risk of an acute toxic episode that could result from consuming any of the fish containing the contaminants for which the state has conducted analyses. However, consumption of any fish from a specific waterbody under a Do Not Eat Any advisory may place the consumer at risk for harm from the contaminant. 

Know before you go and exercise the appropriate caution.

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