Your Health: Fresh caught fish - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Your Health: Fresh caught fish

(Source: WAFF file) (Source: WAFF file)
(WAFF) -

Fishing may be a pastime for some, but for many people, local fish is a cheap, easy meal.

"Alabama is blessed with a lot of waterways, a lot of great sports fishing. I mean fish are great to eat and we encourage people to do that," said Scott Harris, who is assistant state health officer for area two.

He said the state health department is concerned about what type of fish and how much is consumed.

"We are particularly interested in women who are pregnant or nursing or getting pregnant or even very small children," he said.

He said they have advisories for those people to see how much fish they're eating.

"ADPH also has advisories for all public waterways especially large public waterways in the state of Alabama. That information is on our website, but it gives you an idea of the types of fish you can eat and how much of the fish you can consume," he said.

Harris said there are specific concerns.

"Because of our history of industry, there are a few chemicals that are persisting in the environment and so we track those on a regular basis," he said.

He said those include PFCs, PCBs and mercury.

This is considered by many to be an easy, quick meal. However, there's always that question of safety. Most of the fishermen we talked with say they eat what they catch.

"I eat basically everything I catch," said Madison resident Johnnie Wilcox.

Decatur resident Le Ronnie Clopton enjoys eating them and the process of catching them.

"Fishing I like. I been fishing since I was 4 years old. It's the pleasure of getting out on the water, the relaxation, and also it lowers your blood pressure without medication," he said.

"I like to catch the cropy and the bass. They're game fish and I like fishing for those because they're so hard to catch."  said Sylvester Jones, another Decatur resident. He said he loves them baked and deep-fried.

Harris said everyone should enjoy their catch, but be cautious in the consumption.

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