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Eat Fish, Choose Wisely

Fish is good for you and part of a healthy diet. Understanding the health benefits of fish along with concerns over contamination such as mercury can be confusing. The key is to make smart choices. Choose fish that are low in mercury and other contaminants. Our advice is, “Eat fish, be smart, choose wisely!”

Tips to Reduce Contaminants

  • Remove skin, organs, and fat before cooking
  • Eat a variety of fish
  • Eat younger and smaller fish (within legal limits)

Current Advisories

Chart below is partial list of advisories.

Although fish is a healthy part of our diet, there are 49 advisories in Washington State because of contaminants. We recommend you eat at least two fish meals per week and choose wisely. Eat a variety of fish that are low in contaminants. The chart below is not a complete list of all advisories in Washington. Most advisories in our state include fish that are good to eat, including 24 healthy fish choices!

Green Sturgeon

Olive green to dark green in color. There are approximately 8-11 dorsal scutes. Vent between pelvic fins. Scutes behind vent.


Fish Species


All waterbodies

Northern Pikeminnow

Women of childbearing age and children should not eat

Columbia River – Middle – Bradford Island (Bonneville Dam to Fort Raines)

Bass, Bluegill, Carp, Catfish, Crappie, Sucker, Sturgeon, Walleye, Yellow Perch

Everyone should not eat

Lower Columbia River (former Vanalco Plant)


Everyone should not eat

Duwamish River (Lower)

All resident fish, shellfish and crab

Everyone should not eat

Lake Whatcom

Smallmouth Bass

Women of childbearing age and children should not eat

Lake Washington

Carp, Northern Pikeminnow

Everyone should not eat

Olympic National Park (Lake Ozette)

Largemouth Bass, Northern Pikeminnow

Everyone should not eat

Spokane River (Idaho Border to Upriver Dam)

All species

Everyone should not eat

Wenatchee River (Icicle Creek to Columbia River)

Mountain Whitefish

Everyone should not eat

White Sturgeon

Gray back shading. There are approximately 11-14 dorsal scutes. Vent behind pelvic fins. No scutes behind vent.