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Indiana

Fishing

Fishing

Fish Consumption

Wild Fish Consumption

Guidelines Groups

Group

Meal Frequency Categories

1

Unrestricted consumption

2

1 meal per week

3

1 meal per month

4

1 meal every 2 months

5

Do not eat

Is it Safe to Eat Your Fish?

Eating recreationally caught fish from Indiana waters can be healthy and tasty when you have the proper information.

Anyone can eat fish. Fish is a lean protein that is a major source of omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin D, selenium, and other vitamins and minerals. Omega-3 fatty acids are linked with reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease and are important for brain and eye development. Fish is a part of a healthy diet, but should be consumed in moderation. To ensure safe eating, consult the full Indiana fish consumption guidelines for wild-caught and commercial fish found at IN.gov/isdh/FCA.

It’s all about a person’s exposure to contaminants over time. The two contaminants that primarily drive the fish consumption guidelines are mercury and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). Some guidelines are driven by perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS), which is a chemical in the per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) family. These contaminants are generally persistent in the environment at low enough levels that they do not pose a health risk from direct contact with the water; however, these contaminants accumulate in fish tissue. The contaminants accumulate in human tissue like they do in fish and can build to levels that could pose a health risk.

These risks are based on the consumption of fish over a lifetime of exposure. A determination can then be made from concentrations of contaminants in fish tested as to how frequently they can be safely eaten (see the Wild Fish Consumption Guidelines table). The consumption recommendation groups range from 1 to 5 with 1 being unrestricted consumption and 5 being do not eat.

When it comes to fish consumption, the primary concern is for the sensitive population. This population comprises women of childbearing years, nursing and pregnant mothers, and children age 15 and younger. There is evidence of developmental problems in infants and young children from consuming contaminants at levels lower than what can safely be eaten by the general population.

Combining consumption of wild-caught fish with frequently eaten commercial sources of fish containing contaminants could pose a health risk. Making the best choices in both sources of fish can help women and children obtain the benefits from fish while avoiding the health risks. Remember to follow the guidelines for all the fish you eat.

Eating fish from lakes and reservoirs is generally less of a concern. Contaminant levels are generally very low in lakes and reservoirs.

Eating fish from rivers and streams is generally a much higher concern. Most bodies of water that have do-not-eat consumption guidelines for all species are streams. The Fish Consumption Guidelines has an extensive list of rivers and streams that have species with group 4 and 5 consumption guidelines; however, many streams contain species with low levels of contaminants. Several of the major fished rivers that have some group 4 and 5 species are listed. Many of these rivers and streams contain catch-and-release fishing.

Information on the Commercial Fish Consumption Guidelines and the full Indiana Fish Consumption Guidelines can be found at IN.gov/isdh/FCA. There, users can search by address, name of the body of water, or county to find guidelines. If a body of water is not listed in the guidelines or if a fish species is not listed for a body of water that was sampled, consult with the Statewide Safe Eating Guidelines.

Guidelines to reduce risks of eating fish include consuming smaller, less fatty fish like panfish and removing fat near the skin of the fish before cooking. Baking, broiling, or grilling fish also allows fat from the fish to drip away. To view some healthy recipes, visit chooseyourfish.org/fish/recipe.

For more information on the Fish Consumption Guidelines or for answers to questions concerning the advisory, call the Indiana State Department of Health at 317-233-9264.

State Waters Carrying
Do-Not-Eat Guidelines for All Species

Water

County

Elliot Ditch

Tippecanoe

Government Ditch/Little Deer Creek

Cass

Grand Calumet River/Indiana Harbor Canal

Lake

Kokomo Creek

Howard/Tipton

Little Sugar Creek/Walnut Fork

Montgomery

Salt Creek

Lawrence

Marquette Lagoon (West Basin)

Lake

Wea Creek

Tippecanoe

Wildcat Creek

Howard/Carroll: downstream from the Waterworks Dam in Kokomo to the Tippecanoe County line

Major Lakes & Rivers with Group 4 & 5 Species Guidelines*

Water

County

Species

Size (inches)

Group

Clear Lake

LaPorte

Common Carp

All

5

East Fork White River

Daviess/Dubois/Lawrence/Martin

Largemouth Bass

All

4

Mississinewa River

Randolph

Channel Catfish

All

5

Common Carp

30+

4

Delaware/Grant/Miami/Wabash

Flathead Catfish

29+

4

Muscatatuck River

Jackson/Washington

Channel Catfish

18+

4

St. Joseph River

St. Joseph (Baugo Bay Area to the Twin Branch Dam)

Channel Catfish

20+

4

St. Joseph
(Twin Branch Dam to IN/MI State Line)

Channel Catfish

All

5

Common Carp

All

5

Redhorse Species

All

4

Sugar Creek

Parke County to Wabash River

Flathead Catfish

All

4

Wabash River

Fountain/Parke/Tippecanoe/
Vermillion/Warren

Carpsucker
Species

All

4

West Fork White River

Delaware/Hamilton (to Stony Creek)/Madison

Channel Catfish

All

5

Marion (downstream of Broad Ripple Dam)/Morgan

Flathead Catfish

23+

4

Lake Michigan
Fish Consumption Guidelines

Species

Meal Frequency

Bloater Chubs

One meal per month

Brown Trout

One meal per month

Chinook Salmon

One meal per month

Coho Salmon

Up to 27" One meal per week

27"+ One meal per month

Lake Trout

Up to 22" One meal per week

22–30" One meal per month

30"+ Do Not Eat

Lake Whitefish

One meal per week

Rainbow Smelt

One meal per week

Rainbow Trout

One meal per week

Yellow Perch

One meal per week

Ohio River
Fish Consumption Guidelines

Species

Meal Frequency

Largemouth Bass

Smallmouth Bass

Spotted Bass

Up to 15"
One meal per week

15"+ One meal per month

Blue Catfish

One meal per week

Channel Catfish

Up to 18"
One meal per month

18"+ Six meals per year

Common Carp

One meal per month

Crappie Species

One meal per week

Flathead Catfish

One meal per month

Freshwater Drum

One meal per month

Hybrid Striped Bass

Six meals per year

Sauger

One meal per week

Striped Bass

Six meals per year

Sucker Species

One meal per month

Walleye/Saugeye

One meal per week

White Bass

One meal per month

Fish Consumption Guidelines
Interactive Map

The Indiana Fish Consumption Guidelines is available as a mobile friendly, interactive map at IN.gov/isdh/FCA. Users can search by address, waterbody, or county to find guidelines.