The Michigan Department of Community Health has issued its 2009 Michigan Family Fish Consumption Guide.
The guide provides advice on selecting fish safe to eat from Michigan rivers, inland lakes and the surrounding Great Lakes. The guide has length and species-specific advice for individual Michigan waters. The advice is based on test results conducted on the fillet (edible portion) of the fish.
Young children, and especially the unborn fetus, are at greatest risk if exposed to too much of the chemicals that build up in fish. Women of childbearing age and young children who regularly eat sport-caught fish from Michigan waters are strongly encouraged to follow this guide’s advice. The guide also provides advice about eating safe fish for adult men and women beyond childbearing age.
In addition to the fish and water body specific advice, the guide provides protective advice for the fish consumer who only occasionally eats sport-caught fish, such as:
• Removing the fat removes many of the unwanted chemicals from the fish. Always cut off all of the visible fat, and remove or poke holes in the skin. Baking, broiling or grilling will let the fat drip away. Do not eat the drippings.
• Mercury is in the meat of both store-bought and sport-caught fish. It cannot be cut or cooked away.
• Eat different types of fish from a variety of sources to reduce your chance of getting too many meals of fish that are not safe to eat.
This simple advice is explained in more detail in a single brochure titled Eat Safe Fish.
To obtain any of these materials or for more information about Michigan’s Fish Consumption Advisory, call the Michigan Department of Community Health toll free at 800/648-6942 or go to www.michigan.gov/fishandgameadvisory.