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Photo courtesy W.Va. Department of Health

2024 Sport Fishing: New change to the 2023 West Virginia fish consumption advisories

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – The West Virginia Department of Health (DH) has updated the West Virginia Sport Fish Consumption Advisory for 2024. The 2024 advisory updates are the result of reviewing the recent data of fish tissues and re-analysis of historical data. The current West Virginia Sport Fish Consumption Advisory can be reviewed at https://oehs.wvdhhr.org/fish.

DH partners with the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection and the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources (DNR) to develop consumption advisories for fish caught in West Virginia waters. Fish consumption advisories are updated each year to help West Virginia anglers and their families make educated choices about eating the fish they catch. 

One change has been implemented in the 2024 West Virginia Fish Consumption Advisories: A fish consumption limit of “one meal a week” is advised for largemouth bass, white crappie, bluegill, and green sunfish in Upper Mud Reservoir due to the selenium levels detected. The 2024 DNR fishing regulation and consumption advisories can be reviewed at https://wvdnr.gov/wp-content/uploads/2024/01/Pub_Regs_2024Fishing_DNR_WILD_DIGITAL_hi-res_pp.pdf. 

Low levels of chemicals such as polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), mercury, dioxin, and selenium have been found in some fish from certain waters. The West Virginia Sport Fish Consumption Advisory is advice and should not be viewed as law or regulation. It is intended to help anglers and their families decide where to fish, what types of fish to eat, the frequency at which the fish are consumed, and how to prepare and cook fish to reduce contaminants. Women of childbearing age, children, and people who regularly eat fish are particularly susceptible to contaminants that build up over time. Individuals falling into one of those categories should be especially careful to follow the guidelines within the West Virginia Sport Fish Consumption Advisory.

The West Virginia Sport Fish Consumption Advisory covers only sport fish caught in West Virginia waters. Safety regulations and advisories for fish in the marketplace are the responsibility of the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

For more information, please visit https://www.epa.gov/fish-tech/epa-fda-advice-about-eating-fish-and-shellfish.

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