Illinois Lists Fish That Should Not Be Consumed From Specific Rivers Due to Poisoning Risks

The Illinois Department of Public Health has released a list of fish that should not be consumed from specific rivers due to poisoning risks. Illinois health officials said people should not eat certain fish from more than 100 rivers in more than 10 counties due to risks of Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs).

The government said the group of more than 200 man-made chemicals was banned decades ago, but they remain strong in the environment and in bodies of water. The health advisory posted by the public health department warns that consuming fish tainted with PCB could cause mercury poisoning which could cause extensive damage to the central nervous system.

The list of banned fish are species of bass, trout, salmon, and gar as well as sauger, common carp, Channel catfish, walleye, flathead catfish, muskellunge, and the northern pike. The counties with prohibited fish consumption from their waters are Cook County, DuPage County, Lake County, Will County, Kane County, McHenry County, Kankakee County, Dekalb County, Kendall County, LaSalle County, Grundy County, Boone County, Ogle County, and Lee county.

The government warned that the listed fish types from almost all the rivers in the listed counties are to be avoided by pregnant women and women planning on becoming pregnant soon as well as children under the age of 15. Men and other categories of people can consume the fish from the rivers, but not more than once per week to eliminate potential poisoning from methylmercury and PCBs.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Maine has also prohibited the consumption of certain fish from seven bodies of water across the state. The government warned of PFAS contamination as the reason for the advisory and this indicates that fish from bodies of water in Albion, China, Fairfield, Limefield, Sanford, and Thorndike should not be eaten.

“This update and expansion of Maine’s fish consumption advisories are based on the latest science about the health impacts of PFAS,” Maine CDC Acting Director Nancy Beardsley said. “These advisories are designed to support the health of Maine anglers, their families and friends, and everyone who enjoys eating freshwater fish from these bodies of water.”

In some cases, the Maine CDC warned that brook trout should not be consumed more than twice per month, smallmouth bass in four meals per year, largemouth bass only once per month, and carp very rarely until the advisory is lifted.