Last month, the Alabama Department of Public Health released the annual fish consumption advisories list. Our Fish Guide program takes that complicated list and distills it into easy to use maps and infographics that will get you up to speed and out fishing faster. We recently completed updating our interactive map and also updating our toll-free hotline where you can hear all of the State’s advisories (1-844-219-RISK).
In the Coosa Valley, there are only a few changes to this year’s advisory list. For a little perspective, there are advisories on Lay, Logan Martin and Weiss Lakes as well as Choccolocco Creek so if you aren’t already aware of those you should head over to our Fish Guide page. But, here’s what is different from past years:
- Upper Lay Lake, between Childersburg and Logan Martin Dam, appears to have worsened. The advisory for spotted bass was changed from 1 meal/month to Do Not Eat Any and the advisory for channel catfish was changed from 2 meals/month to 1 meal/month;
- Upper Logan Martin Lake changed from “1 meal/month of catfish over 1 pound (PCBs)” to “1 meal/month of Blue catfish and striped bass (PCBs).”
Because PCBs build up in the fatty tissue of fish, it is important to properly filet your fish and cook it in a way that juices drip away from the meat. We have videos showing you how here. Unfortunately, mercury builds up in the muscle tissue of fish – which is the portion that we eat. The advisories are listed on a species-by-species basis- if you aren’t too sure how to tell between different types of catfish or different types of bass, you can check out our handy Game Fish Guide.
Fish consumption advisories have NO regulatory impact and are not laws that prevent you from eating fish. A fish consumption advisory is a recommendation made by the Alabama Department of Health of the amount and frequency of fish consumed from a specific water body. If a water body or species of fish is not listed in an advisory that means the water body has not been sampled, there is not enough data, or the water body is privately owned… not necessarily that it is safe to eat.