Every major river in Alabama, except the Cahaba River, has at least one fish consumption advisory. Many Alabamians are unaware of these advisories and their potential impact on their health.
CALL BEFORE YOU CAST!
We’ve created Alabama’s first statewide fish consumption advisory hotline so you can easily hear advisories in your area without having to fish for answers. This toll-free hotline includes fish consumption advisories for 9 major river systems in Alabama. But while we’ve got you here online, you can view Alabama’s fish consumption advisories on our website.
FISHERMEN’S RIGHT TO KNOW
Just below the H. Neely Henry Dam on the Coosa River, Mr. Woods catches catfish to fry and eat. Like many lakes and rivers in Alabama, this spot has a fish consumption advisory, indicating that the fish may contain dangerous levels of mercury and other contaminants. The Alabama Department of Public Health suggests limiting or avoiding consumption of some fish species in certain locations–information found on the agency’s website–but there is no legal requirement to post signs for fishermen. Where does that leave Mr. Woods and others who depend on fishing for sustenance?
Future Work: Our surveys of fishermen indicate that placing signs around popular fishing piers and launches would be the best way to get the information to the public. We plan to purchase and install signs to place at public parks and boat launches on the river that informs people that there are fish consumption advisories present in the area and post the toll-free number so individuals can call to learn more about which species to avoid eating.