A Sign of Success

A Sign of Success

 

Fish Guide Sign at The Narrows Boat Ramp

After many meetings, emails, and lots of important conversations…. Coosa Riverkeeper is excited to announce that with permission from Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources and Alabama Department of Public Health, we are posting fish consumption advisory signs at the following boat ramps:

  • The Narrows
  • Kelly Creek
  • Talladega Creek Boat Ramp
  • Beeswax Creek
  • Lay Dam

This is a big deal. This is the first time a conservation group has been given permission by 2 separate state agencies to post signs!

 

We’re not stopping with just these 5 signs… According to our 2013 survey of subsistence fishermen, we found 91% of fishermen would heed fish consumption advisories but only 6% know what they actually are.  In Spring 2019, you’ll start to see more Fish Guide signs posted at other important fishing spots around the Coosa River. We will also be posting signs at our Swim Guide sampling sites next year (pending approval from some key places).

We’re working so hard because our data shows more fishermen and their families need to understand the advisories themselves, what PCB/methylmercury advisories mean for their health, and how they can reduce their exposure.  Our goal with the Coosa River Fish Guide program is to help you better understand the 34 fish consumption advisories on the Coosa and what they mean for your health!


If you want to learn about advisories near you, check out our interactive map or dial 844-219-RISK (7475) to hear statewide advisories by individual river system.


You may be thinking… why aren’t there signs in the first place?

 

Lay Lake Boat Ramp’s old sign and new Fish Guide sign

In Alabama, there is not Fishermen Right-to-Know legislation. We’re working to change that… this sort of law makes sure you are given all the necessary data to make informed decisions before you throw out your line on any of Alabama’s rivers. That could include permanent signage, better outreach, information on your fishing license, signs at discharge pipes, etc. Currently, there are only a handful of places in the Coosa Valley that have these old ADPH signs since permanent signage isn’t required by law to educate the public about fish consumption advisories. As you can see (to left), many of these signs are hard to read.

Every single river in Alabama, The River State, has at least one fish consumption advisory. Yet, we dare to say most Alabamians have no idea where the advisories are, what the advisories mean, and how to protect themselves from consuming contaminated fish. With support and input from the State and other conservation groups we’re working together so you don’t have to fish for answers. 


This blog post was written by Justinn Overton, our Executive Director. Thanks to funding from Alabama Chapter of the Sierra Club for the funding to post these signs (2017) and to conduct the survey (2013). 

Related Posts

Clean Water Act 101

Clean Water Act 101

Before the Clean Water Act was passed in 1972, waterways in the United States were severely contaminated by sewage, trash, oil, and industrial pollution. Since then, the Clean Water Act has dramatically reduced pollution and improved water quality across the country,...

River Reads

River Reads

Knowledge is power, and what better way to gain knowledge than to read a book (or 5)! We surveyed our staff and some of our board members to what conservation-minded books influenced their career or their opinion on our natural world. Check out what some of them had...

Spring 2022 Newsletter

Spring 2022 Newsletter

Dive into our Spring Newsletter! Our 2021 Financials Nutrients on the Coosa Coosa River named 5th Most Endangered River in the US Meet our New Team Members Get the Skinny on Swim Guide 2022 Have you seen our new video? It's been in the works for over a year!

Share This