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Fish Consumption Advisories

Fishing Regulations Icon Delaware Fishing

Fishing is an important activity in Delaware’s inland and coastal waters. Among the benefits provided by fishing are quality recreational opportunities, direct and indirect input to the local economy, food for recreational anglers, and food for the commercial marketplace. Fish are a good source of readily digestible protein. They are low in fat and sodium, and the unique types of fats found in fish are believed to provide cardiovascular benefits.

Despite the general benefits of fishing and fish consumption, there are also health risks associated with consuming some locally caught fish. Certain toxic chemicals such as polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and mercury persist in the environment and accumulate in fish. When you eat the fish, you also ingest these chemicals. In cases where the health risk is elevated to recreational anglers and their families, the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC), in cooperation with the Department of Health and Social Services’ Division of Public Health (DPH), issue fish consumption advisories to inform the public of the situation. The most recent fish consumption advisories for Delaware waters are shown on the accompanying table. These advisories are intended to protect public health and hence are conservative.

Although the list of waters and fish species under advisory is extensive, monitoring shows that contaminant concentrations in the fish are slowly improving over time in many cases. This is the result of steady progress in cleaning up the sources of the contamination along with natural processes. DNREC and DPH will continue to monitor contaminant levels in fish over time and issue new or revised fish consumption advisories as appropriate.

For more information concerning health advisories for Delaware waters, go on-line or contact the Division of Public Health at (302) 744-4546. For more information on balancing health risks and health benefits of consuming seafood, visit http://seafoodhealthfacts.org.

Cutting the Fat

Toxic chemicals tend to concentrate in the fatty tissue found in the:

1) dorsal area.

2) lateral line.

3) belly flaps.

When cleaning fish, always skin it and trim away fatty areas shown by the dotted line.

Waterbody

Species

Contaminant of concern

Geographical Extent

Meals/yr
(8-ounce serving)

All Waters not listed below

All Species not
listed below

All

All Areas not listed

52

Delaware River

All Finfish

A, B, E

DE/PA Line to the C&D Canal

1*

Lower Delaware River
and Delaware Bay

Weakfish – all sizes, Bluefish – 14 inches or less

A

Chesapeake & Delaware Canal to the Mouth of the Delaware Bay

12

Bluefish – greater than 14 inches

A, C

Chesapeake & Delaware Canal to the Mouth of the Delaware Bay

1*

Striped Bass, White Perch, American Eel, White Catfish, Channel Catfish

A

Chesapeake & Delaware Canal to the Mouth of the Delaware Bay

2*

Delaware Atlantic
Coastal Waters including
Delaware Inland Bays

Striped Bass

A

Coastal Delaware from Mouth of
the Delaware Bay Southward to
DE/MD Line

2*

Bluefish – greater than 14 inches

A, C

Coastal Delaware from Mouth of
the Delaware Bay Southward to
DE/MD Line

1*

Bluefish – 14 inches or less

A

Coastal Delaware from Mouth of
the Delaware Bay Southward to
DE/MD Line

12

Shellpot Creek

All Finfish

A, E, G

Governor Printz Blvd. to Delaware River

1

A, E, G, H

Upstream of Governor Printz Blvd.

2

Tidal Brandywine River

All Finfish

A, B, E

River Mouth to Baynard Blvd

2

Non-tidal Brandywine River

All Finfish

A, B, E

Baynard Blvd. to DE/PA Line

6

Tidal Christina River

All Finfish

A

I-95 at Peterson Wildlife Refuge upstream to Smalleys Dam
(includes Nonesuch Creek)

12

A, B, E, F, G

Mouth upstream to I-95 at Peterson Wildlife Refuge

1

Non-tidal Christina River

All Finfish

E

Smalley’s Dam to DE/MD Line

12

Tidal White Clay Creek

All Finfish

A, E, F, G

River Mouth to Route 4

1

Non-tidal White Clay Creek

All Finfish

A, E

Route 4 to DE/PA Line

12

Red Clay Creek

All Finfish

A, B, E, F

Creek Mouth to DE/PA Line

3

Little Mill Creek

All Finfish

A, E, G, H

Creek Mouth to Kirkwood Highway

1

Army Creek and Pond

All Finfish

A, B

Creek Mouth to Route 13,
including Army Pond

4

Red Lion Creek

All Finfish

A, B

Route 1 to the Delaware River

2

A, E

Upstream of Route 1

12

Chesapeake & Delaware Canal

All Finfish

A, B E

Entire Canal in Delaware

1

Appoquinimink River

All Finfish

A, B, E

Tidal Portions

2

Drawyers Creek

All Finfish

A, B, E

Tidal Portions

4

Silver Lake Middletown

All Finfish

E

Entire Lake

12

Saint Jones River and
Silver Lake Dover

All Finfish

A, B, E

Tidal River and Entire Pond

4

Fork Branch

All Finfish

C

McKee Road to College Road

24

Moores Lake

All Finfish

A

Entire Pond

12

Wyoming Mill Pond

All Finfish

F

Entire Pond

24

Waples Pond

All Finfish

C

Entire Pond

12

Prime Hook Creek

All Finfish

C

Entire Creek

12

Slaughter Creek

All Finfish

A, B

Entire Creek

6

Christina Creek

Stocked Trout

A, E

Rittenhouse Park to DE/MD Line

6

Designated Trout Streams & Ponds other than Christina Creek

Stocked Trout

A

See latest Delaware Fishing Guide for Designated Trout Streams

12