SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) has issued its updated consumption advisories for sport fish caught in Illinois waters. The advisories are based on routine testing conducted by the Illinois Fish Contaminant Monitoring Program, which was updated last fall to include testing for per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), sometimes referred to as “forever chemicals.”

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The expanded testing has this year resulted in advisories for nine bodies of water this year. A Do Not Eat advisory has been issued for all fish in Franklin Creek in Lee County, and associated ponds in the Franklin Creek State Natural Area, due to high levels of PFAS.

The updated advisories also recommend limited consumption of certain fish from several other Illinois waterways because of PFAS levels. Certain fish taken from Lake Zurich, Crab Orchard Lake, and Wolf Lake should only be consumed once per month. One meal per week advisories were issued for certain species in Lake Michigan, Waukegan North Harbor, Sycamore Lake, Midlothian Reservoir, and Chicago River. More information about PFAS can be found in the Illinois PFAS Advisories Fact Sheet.

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“Fishing in Illinois waters is a great recreational activity that often leads to delicious meals,” said IDPH Director Dr. Sameer Vohra. “To make sure each of those catches are safe and healthy, please visit our Fish Advisory Map to get the most up to date information on Illinois’s consumption advisories.”

In addition to PFAS, the fish consumption advisories also address the presence of polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) and methylmercury. As part of a continuing trend of declining PCB levels around the state, PCB advisories were relaxed for certain species in Lake Michigan and Midlothian Reservoir, and removed for certain species in Lake Michigan, Crab Orchard Lake, Midlothian Reservoir, Sangamon River, and Illinois River.

IDPH issued more restrictive methylmercury advisories for certain species in the Ohio River and the Little Wabash River watershed. Site-specific advisories were removed from Midlothian Reservoir and Lake Zurich.

In addition to this year’s site-specific updates, a statewide methylmercury advisory remains in place for all Illinois waters. The advisory cautions those who are nursing, pregnant, or may become pregnant, and children less than 15 years of age to eat no more than one meal per week of predatory fish (e.g., bass, walleye, salmon).

IDPH maintains an interactive Fish Advisory Map that includes consumption advisories for more than 100 publicly accessible bodies of water across the state. While there is no known immediate health hazard from eating contaminated fish from any Illinois water body, there are concerns about effects of long-term exposure to PCBs, PFAS, and methylmercury in fish. More information can be found at Fish Advisories (illinois.gov).

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