Follow the general, statewide one meal per week advisory to limit exposure to contaminants. To determine if more protective advice applies to a species of fish, find the locations and species of fish caught in the tables that follow. Find the meal advice for the fish of interest. “Do Not Eat” means no one should eat those fish because of very high contamination. The other groups ("Two meals a Month", "One Meal a Month", "One Meal Every Two Months") are advice for how often to eat a fish meal.
One meal is assumed to be one-half pound of fish (8 oz before cooking) for a 150-pound person. The meal advice is equally protective for larger people who eat larger meals, and smaller people who eat smaller meals.
People who regularly eat sport fish, women of childbearing age, and children are particularly susceptible to contaminants that build up over time. If an individual falls into one of these categories, they should be especially careful to space fish meals out according to the advisory tables that follow. A body can get rid of some contaminants over time. Spacing the meals out helps prevent the contaminants from building up to harmful levels in the body. For example, if the fish you eat is in the "One Meal a Month Group", wait a month before eating another meal of fish from any restricted category.
Women beyond their childbearing years and men generally face fewer health risks from these contaminants. However, it is recommended that you also follow the advisory to reduce your total exposure to contaminants. For these groups, it is the total number of meals that you eat during the year that becomes important and many of those meals can be eaten during a few months of the year. If most of the fish you eat are from the "One Meal a Month" category, you should not exceed 12 meals per year.
Sometimes, anglers catch fish with external growths, sores, or other lesions. Such abnormalities generally result from viral or bacterial infections and may occasionally be caused by exposure to certain chemical contaminants. The appearance of viral or bacterial infections in fish may be unsightly, but there is no evidence to suggest that these infections pose a threat to consumers of these fish. Whether or not to eat such fish is a matter of personal choice.