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Advisories

Fishing Regulations Florida Freshwater Fishing

Florida’s freshwater fish—fun to catch, good to eat & healthy too!

Why eat fish?

Eating fish may help reduce your risk of heart attack and stroke. Fish high in omega 3 fatty acids—a type of fatty acid that supports fetal, infant and child brain and eye development—are good for mothers and children.

How much should I eat?

Adults should eat about 8 ounces of fish each week, and women who are pregnant, or breastfeeding, should eat 8 to 12 ounces (cooked weight) of fish per week. Eating a variety of fish has the most benefit.

What about mercury exposure?

For most people, the risk of eating mercury-exposed fish is not a health concern, but developing fetuses and young children are more sensitive to the effects mercury has on the brain. Women of childbearing age and young children should eat fish with low mercury levels. Mercury can’t be cut away, cleaned or cooked out of fish.

Basic Guidelines for Eating Freshwater Fish

The following Basic Eating Guidelines provide general advice to anglers from all untested fresh waters in the state. For more detailed guidance for all untested fresh waters, consult the Florida Department of Health publication Basic Guidelines for Eating Freshwater Fish (bit.ly/FreshwaterAdvice) or call 850-245-4250.

Women of childbearing age & young children

Eat 1 meal per week of these fish
with very low mercury:

Eat 1 meal per month of these fish with low mercury:
  • Black crappie
  • Channel catfish
  • White catfish
  • Redbreast sunfish
  • Spotted sunfish
  • Warmouth
  • Mayan cichlid
  • Chain pickerel
Black bass including largemouth bass: Bass smaller than 16 inches.

If in one month you eat a meal of the fish listed above: Don’t eat anymore fish listed as eat 1 meal per month. Instead eat only other high omega-3, low-mercury fish for the remainder of the month, try: Atlantic salmon, rainbow trout and striped mullet.

Do NOT eat: Black bass including largemouth bass larger than 16 inches. Avoid eating bowfin and gar.

The recommendations above are for general statewide use. For specific information on tested waters follow advice at bit.ly/EatingFishFlorida.

Women not planning to be pregnant & men

Eat 2 meals per week of these fish
with very low mercury:

Eat 1 meal per week of these fish with low mercury:
  • Black crappie
  • Channel catfish
  • White catfish
  • Spotted sunfish
  • Warmouth
  • Mayan cichlid
  • Chain pickerel
Black bass including largemouth bass: Bass smaller than 16 inches.
Eat 1 meal per month of these fish with moderate mercury: Black bass including largemouth bass: Bass larger than 16 inches.

If in one month you eat a meal of the fish listed above: Don’t eat any more fish listed as eat 1 meal per month. Instead eat only other high omega-3, low-mercury fish for the remainder of the month, try: Atlantic salmon, rainbow trout, mullet and other wild-caught, oily fish.

The recommendations above are for general statewide use. For specific information on tested waters follow advice at bit.ly/EatingFishFlorida.