Fish consumption advisory does not include Chilton County this year

Published 3:45 pm Monday, August 19, 2013

Nothing is fishy about certain bodies of water in Chilton County not being tested this year for fish consumption advisories.

John Guarisco with Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH) said due to more than 77,000 miles of rivers, creeks and reservoirs in Alabama, the state is now broken up into five geologic areas for testing.

Chilton County was not part of the rotation this year.

Earlier this month, the ADPH released the annual fish consumption advisories based on data collected during the fall of 2012 by the Alabama Department of Environmental Management (ADEM).

ADEM collects samples of specific fish species for analysis from various water bodies throughout the state with 501 samples and 50 collection stations. ADPH will then assess the analytical results to determine whether any of the tested contaminants in the fish may give rise to potential human health effects.

Fish consumption advisories are issued for specific water bodies and specific species taken from those areas. In reservoirs, advisories apply to waters as far as a boat can be taken upstream in a tributary, that is, to full pool elevations.

Newly issued advisories will be represented as the safe number of meals of that species of fish that can be eaten in a given period of time, such as meals per week, meals per month or do not eat any. A meal portion consists of 6 ounces of cooked fish or 8 ounces of raw fish.

It is recommended that all Alabamians consume two meals a week of fish as part of a well balanced diet.

New and updated consumption advisories issued for the 41 bodies of water tested can be found on

A fish consumption advisory can be issued for one or more specific species of fish within a water body or an advisory can be extended to include all fish species within that water body. When excess levels of a contaminant are found in a specific species of fish, an advisory is issued for that specific species. For example, if an advisory had been issued for largemouth bass and not for channel catfish, it would be advised that individuals should not eat largemouth bass, but consumption of channel catfish is permissible without endangering health. When excess levels of a contaminant are found in multiple fish species sampled from a specific water body, a “Do Not Eat Any” advisory is issued. Consumption of any fish from a specific water body under a “Do Not Eat Any” advisory may place the consumer at risk for harm from the contaminant.

If a species is not listed in the advisory, it is prudent to assume that similar species with similar feeding habits should be consumed with caution. For example, if black crappie is listed and white crappie is not, because they are in the same family, all crappie would fall under the listed advisory.