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Fish Health & Consumption Advisory


To protect the health of anyone who eats Ohio-caught fish, an annual advisory for how often these fish can be safely eaten is prepared by the Ohio Department of Health (ODH) in cooperation with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) and the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (OEPA).


There are many benefits to including fish in a balanced diet for people of all ages. Fish are high in protein, low in fat, and contain healthy oils called omega-3 fatty acids which are important during fetal development and which help prevent heart disease in adults. Additionally, fishing can be a rewarding hobby that brings people closer to nature, provides a source of natural food, and can even help with wildlife conservation.


Most Ohio sport fish are safe to eat ONE MEAL PER WEEK, unless there is a more or less restrictive advisory outlined in the Ohio Sport Fish Consumption Advisory. 

ODH issues this general statewide advisory due to low-level mercury contamination.

The one meal per week advisory protects sensitive populations, including women of child-bearing age and children under the age of 15.

Links to the most current fish consumption advisory and other important websites and documents are provided below.


Local Activities

CCBH initiated several fish consumption surveys and information gathering in 2015 and 2016. In 2017 and 2018, these were followed up by more extensive surveys and related research, in conjunction with Case Western Reserve University students and faculty,  to obtain a better understanding of anglers’ practices, fish preparation and consumption methods and knowledge of fish contaminants.

It was determined that some Northeast Ohio anglers rely on the fish they catch in Lake Erie and its tributaries as a major source of protein. Anglers were from many cultural and economic backgrounds.

In some cases,  it was a challenge to obtain accurate replies to survey questions due to language barriers.

Details about anglers’ responses and related facts identified through the surveys and research are available by clicking here.


Related Links & Documents

American Heart Association – Fish & Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Common Fish Types & Fish Preparation

Fish Ohio For Your Health Pamphlet – Advice for making Ohio caught fish a healthy part of your diet

Fishing – Ohio Department of Natural Resources

Fishing Reports & Forecasts – Ohio Department of Natural Resources

General Mercury Advisory – Ohio Department of Health

Ohio Sport Fish Consumption Advisory (May 2021) – Ohio Department of Health

Ohio Sport Fish Tissue Monitoring Program – Ohio Department of Health

Sport Fish of Ohio Identification – Ohio Division of Wildlife

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