HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - If you’re cooking fish for dinner, here’s a warning you need to know from the Alabama Department of Public Health.
They’ve released a massive fish consumption advisory. There are guidelines about which fish are safe for you to eat, and which aren’t.
There are a lot of people in the Tennessee Valley who love to fish and we talked with one family and they say they're not worried about this advisory from the health department. They say it's all about moderation.
“Everyday it might effect them, but no more than we eat or catch, it’s no problem. Just like anything else you consume, you know, over a period of time. You’d have to eat it three times a day probably,” says fisherman William Bearden.
Alabama has 41 public lakes and reservoirs as well as more than 77,000 miles of rivers and streams. Although fishing is a popular sport for people like William and his two grandkids, health officials want to warn you, the kind of fish you catch and where you caught it can pose a risk to your health if you eat it.
“Just to be clear, there’s no bans on eating fish and there’s no acute illnesses that are out there from eating this fish, it’s just long term exposure,” says Public health Environmental Director James Congleton.
Some fish that pose the biggest risks and concerns in places like Cedar Creek Reservoir and Flint Creek, are largemouth bass.
“In some situations, mercury for instance could cause heart issues. It’s unfortunate that these chemicals are with us here to stay,” says Congleton.
If you want to read the health departments 37 page document about the safety of the fish in all of the waters here in the Tennessee Valley, click here.