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New fish consumption advice for Dane & Rock Co. waterways

Published: Jun. 9, 2021 at 12:12 PM CDT|Updated: Jun. 9, 2021 at 4:47 PM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - Before you take that fresh catch home for dinner, make sure you’re aware of new fish consumption advice in Dane and Rock Counties.

Wisconsin’s Departments of Natural Resources and Health Services put out new guidance Wednesday on eating fish caught in Yahara Chain Waters.

This applies to fish species with elevated levels of PFAS, harmful chemicals in water. One of the most widely produces PFAS called PFOS builds up the most in fish.

“PFAS or per/poly-fluoroalkyl substances are a large group of man-made chemicals that have been widely used since the 1950′s. When they are spilled or improperly disposed of they can easily travel through the environment, do not easily break down and often build up in fish tissue,” said Nathan Klockzo, DHS Site Evaluation Program Coordinator.

The DNR now recommends you only eat one meal per month of Walleye, Largemouth Bass, Crappie and Northern Pike and one meal per week of Pumpkinseed, Yellow Perch, and Bluegill.

SpeciesPrevious AdvisoryNew Advisory
Walleye1 meal/month1 meal/month
PumpkinseedGeneral/Statewide1 meal/week
Yellow Perch1 meal/month1 meal/week
Largemouth Bass1 meal/month1 meal/month
Bluegill1 meal/week1 meal/week
CrappieGeneral/Statewide1 meal/month
Northern Pike1 meal/month1 meal/month

Authorities say exposure to PFAS is something to take seriously.

“PFAS can stay in your body for years. High levels of PFAS have been connected to increased cholesterol levels, decreased immune response and decreased fertility, though that research is still emerging,” said Klockzo.

Fish Consumption Advisory for the Madison Lake Chain.
Fish Consumption Advisory for the Madison Lake Chain.(Dept. of Natural Resources)

The advisory applies to fish caught in the following lakes and waterways:

  • Lake Monona
  • Lake Waubesa
  • Lake Kegnosa
  • Upper and Lower Mud Lakes
  • Starkweather Creek
  • Wingra Creek
  • The Yahara River, downstream to where it meets the Rock River

These advisories are not in place at Lake Mendota or Lake Wingra.

The DNR is working closely with Dane and Rock County Health Departments to develop new signage and outreach techniques to educate fishermen and women who frequent these waterways.

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