eating ohio river fish-new recomdendations

Discussion in 'Ohio River Fishing Reports' started by kyjake, Aug 4, 2008.

  1. kyjake

    kyjake Still learning

    Advisory for fish caught in Ohio River changed
    The Independent
    ASHLAND — The Kentucky Department for Public Health, along with the Department for Fish and Wildlife Resources and the Division of Water, has issued new consumption advisories for certain fish caught in the Upper Reach of the Ohio River.

    Because of elevated levels of polychlorinated biphenyls and mercury found in tissue samples of sauger and catfish, the DPH is now recommending the public limit their consumption of these fish caught in the Ohio River between the mouth of the Big Sandy and the Markland Dam. Health officials recommend the public limit their consumption of sauger and catfish to one meal per month.

    The DPH is also advising special or sensitive populations — women of childbearing age, nursing mothers, infants, children and individuals whose diet includes a large amount of fish — consume just six meals per year of the fish.

    That is a “significant change” from prior advisories, according to Mark Reed, a supervisor in the DPH food safety branch. Before this most recent advisory, the DHP said flathead catfish and sauger could be safely consumed once per week.

    Reed said the most recent advisory is based on tissue studies the multiagency task force has conducted throughout the year and over several years. A larger sample size has resulted in higher results, he said, prompting the agencies to re-evaluate earlier recommendations.

    In April 2000, a statewide mercury advisory was issued for all freshwater fish from Kentucky waters, including the Ohio River. Women of childbearing age and children age 6 and younger should eat no more than one meal per week of any freshwater fish.

    Reed said mercury is ubiquitous in the environment with most being attributed to coal fired power plants.

    The current recomendations are for fish caught only in the Ohio River. In the near future, Reed said, the agencies are expected to release recommendations for fish caught in other specific bodies of water, including lakes and streams. Those recommendations will also be based on fish tissue analyses conducted by the multiagency task force.

    “Fish are fun to catch and are a nutritious, low-fat food,” said Benjy Kinman, director of fisheries with the Department for Fish and Wildlife Resources. “Our role is to educate the public about recommended amounts of certain fish they should consume so everyone can make informed decisions.”

    Proper cleaning, skinning, trimming and cooking can reduce contaminant levels in the fish. Officials recommend eating only skinless, boneless fillets with as much fat as possible removed.

    “Cooking does not destroy the contaminants, nor does it lower their toxicity,” said Guy Delius, acting director for the public health protection and safety division in DPH. “The heat melts some of the fat in the fish, removing some of the contaminants at the same time, but do not eat or reuse the fat and juices that cook out of the fish. Also, remember that cooking fish will not reduce levels of mercury in fish.”

    The DPH also cautions consumers against eating the skin, which can contain higher levels of fat. Eggs should also be discarded. Roasting, baking or broiling has been found to reduce the levels of PCBs and chlordane more than other cooking methods.

    Reed stressed that “in moderation, fish is still a healthy dietary alternative for some folks. It can actually increase heart health,” he said, “For some fish in certain bodies of water, moderation is key.

    Advisories for the Middle Reach (Markland Dam to Cannelton Dam) and the Lower Reach (Cannelton Dam to Mississippi River) were not changed from last year’s advisories.

    CARRIE KIRSCHNER can be reached at [Only registered members can see links. ] or (606) 326-2653.
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  2. cantsleep

    cantsleep 3rd shift blues

    Sad news. Thanks for the post.