If you fish to eat, you better be aware of which fish are more dangerous than others. The person who coordinates the state’s fish advisories, Jon Pressley, says it takes homework. “You can look at our web site, and look at the specific advisories, if there are any for the body of water you are going to fish upon, and from there you can print it out, and you can have it in your boat with you,” says Pressley, who is an environmental toxicologist for the Illinois Department of Public Health.
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IDPH, the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, and the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency work together to formulate the advisory. There are new advisories for Powderhorn Lake in Cook County and Crab Orchard Creek in Jackson County. Pressley’s office has relaxed the advisories for Lake Michigan and the Mississippi River and removed the advisory for Powerton Lake near Pekin. The greatest dangers, such as they are, are to women of childbearing age and younger, as well as boys under 15. The Department of Public Health says there’s no known immediate health hazard, though long-term exposure to pesticides and chemicals can lead to damage in unborn children.