Is it safe to eat the fish?
Fish can be an important part of a healthy diet, but some fish contain varying levels of pollutants like mercury. Because of this, the NH Department of Environmental Services recommends the following guidelines for eating freshwater fish that you catch in New Hampshire:
- Pregnant and nursing women, and women who may become pregnant can safely eat ONE, 8-ounce meal of freshwater fish per month.
- Children under age 7 can safely eat ONE, 4-ounce meal of freshwater fish per month.
- All other adults and children age 7 and older can safely eat FOUR, 8-ounce meals of freshwater fish per month.
- When eating bass, pickerel, white perch or yellow perch, limit consumption to fish 12 inches or less in length while following the above guidelines.
Stocked trout contains relatively low levels of mercury. For rainbow and brown trout, women of childbearing age and children can safely eat ONE meal per week; others can eat SIX meals per week. Brook trout could be either stocked or from a native population, and therefore should be consumed at the rate of the general freshwater advisory above.
Fish from several waterbodies in New Hampshire have been shown to have higher than average mercury concentrations. For the waterbodies identified below, women of childbearing age and young children should not consume any fish; others may consume TWO meals per month:
- Ashuelot Pond, Washington
- Comerford and Moore Reservoirs on the Connecticut River
- Crystal Lake, Gilmanton
- Dubes Pond, Hooksett
- Jackman Reservoir, Hillsboro
- Mascoma Lake, Enfield
- May Pond, Washington
- Tower Hill Pond, Candia
In addition, NO fish should be consumed from the Androscoggin River from Berlin south to the Maine border due to potential dioxin contamination.
For more information on freshwater and saltwater guidelines, contact:
NH Department of Environmental Services
Environmental Health Program
www.des.nh.gov (search “fish consumption”)