The Washington State Department of Health issues advice about eating fish from specific waterbodies when contaminants found in certain fish species may harm your health. We evaluate data collected by other agencies, like the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the Washington State Department of Ecology, and the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife to determine whether the levels of contaminants found in fish are harmful to your health. From this information, we recommend a safe number of fish meals to eat per month so you can better protect your own health.
Why are fish advisories important?
Fish is good for you and a part of a healthy diet. However, fish can carry contaminants from the waters that they live in and these contaminants may damage your health. Some contaminants, such as bacteria, industrial chemicals, or pesticides, are concerns for everyone. Others, like mercury, primarily impact certain groups, such as children and women who are, or may become, pregnant or nursing mothers.
The fish advisory dashboards list fish, consumption recommendations, and affected populations for both fresh and marine water bodies. Each type of fish found in each body of water or marine area is listed, along with any contaminants in that fish population, a recommendation for how often it is safe to eat that fish, and to whom any restrictions apply.
In addition to the information found in the dashboards, there are also two statewide fish consumption advisories that apply to every waterbody in Washington State. Both advisories are based on mercury contamination and are intended to protect children and women who are or may become pregnant or nursing mothers. These statewide advisories cover three species of fish:
- Northern Pikeminnow: DO NOT EAT.
- Largemouth and smallmouth bass: Limit to 2 meals per month.
View the Data
To understand the concerns over contamination in fish and how to reduce your exposure, visit our Fish Information page. For reports and publications relating to specific waterbodies, visit our Fish Consumption Advisories Publication page.
For information or questions related to the Washington Tracking Network, email DOH.WTN@doh.wa.gov.
Let Us Know How You Used the Data
We love hearing about how our data is being used to make an impact on the health of Washingtonians. It also helps us to know what is meeting our users' needs and how we can improve the information we provide. If you used our data, please tell us about it by sending an email to DOH.WTN@doh.wa.gov.
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