Possibly contaminated fish detected in Wiregrass bodies of water


DOTHAN, Ala. (WDHN) — The Alabama Department of Public Health’s annual Fish Consumption Advisory is warning residents about dangerous fish commonly caught in the Wiregrass.

With high levels of mercury being found in local fish, the ADPH is warning residents to limit their intake of certain types of fish and, in some cases, (such as largemouth bass) avoid eating it altogether.

“If a smaller fish has a small body burden of mercury, part of that mercury load is transferred and, over time, largemouth bass can pick up quite a load of mercury,” said Alabama Department of Public Health Environmental Toxicologist, John Guarisco.

Despite the warnings, the ADPH said this year’s report is nothing different than previous years.

“We will change the advisory based on how much contaminant we saw on the fish tissue that was collected but this is nothing really to be too alarmed about,” Guarisco said.

For concerned residents, there are ways to ensure your health. For instance, properly prepare fish before eating it as well as monitor the different fish guidelines.

“You can eat the fish sometimes,” said Public Health Administrator, Corey Kirkland. “It may say once a month, once a week. Staying to those guidelines will certainly keep exposure to certain chemicals that may be present to a minimum.”

Local fishers told News 18 when advisories are posted, many people choose to simply catch and release.

“I know there’s something on TV about the wide mouth bass,” said local fisher Maxine Halford. “If people know about it, they will release it.”

The full report can be viewed here.

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