Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment

FISH

California Sport Fish Consumption Advisories
Important facts to know if you eat the fish you catch in California

OEHHA has issued general guidelines for fish consumption and specific advice for a number of water bodies in California where chemical contamination in fish poses a health concern.

Use the following link to find advice for a specific location or water body: Site-Specific Advisory Information

Please note that in OEHHA's site-specific guidance, consumption advice is given in terms of meals for a given period such as a meal a week. Unless otherwise specified, an eight-ounce meal size is the standard amount allowed for an "average" adult. The average adult weighs approximately 150 pounds (equivalent to 70 kg). Because you and your family members may weigh more or less than the average adult, you can use the following table as a general guide to adjust serving sizes to body weight.

How Big Is A Meal?

If You Weigh…

Your Meal Size Should Not Exceed…

Pounds or kilograms

Ounces* or grams

19

9

1

28

39

18

2

57

58

26

3

85

77

35

4

113

96

44

5

142

116

53

6

170

135

61

7

199

154

70

8

227

173

79

9

255

193

88

10

284

212

96

11

312

231

105

12

340

250

113

13

369

270

123

14

397

289

131

15

425

308

140

16

454

*sixteen ounces is equal to one pound

Also, please take note of the following guidelines that apply to the specific advisories that are provided:

1. Eating sport fish in amounts slightly greater than what is recommended should not present a health hazard if only done occasionally, such as eating fish caught during an annual vacation.

2. Nursing and pregnant women and young children may be more sensitive to the harmful effects of some of the chemicals and should be particularly careful about following the advisories. Because contaminants take a long time to leave the body after they accumulate, women should follow the more restrictive consumption advice throughout their childbearing years.

3. The limits that follow for each species and area assume that no other contaminated fish are being eaten. If you consume several different listed species from the same area, or the same species from several areas, the recommended guidelines for different species and locations should not be combined.

4. Just because the area where you like to fish is not included in the specific advisory areas, it does not necessarily mean that it is free from chemical contamination. Sport fish in many parts of the state have not yet been evaluated for their safety for human consumption. Follow OEHHA's general advice to protect your health.

For OEHHA's general guidelines on fishing and preparing and cooking fish, follow this link: General Health Advisory Brochure

To download this brochure in other languges, follow this link.

For summaries of the main chemicals of concern in fish (PCBs, dioxins, chlordane, DDT, dieldrin, and methylmercury), follow these links:
Summary of Chemicals of Concern Found in Fish
Methylmercury in Sport Fish
PCBs in Sport Fish

The following brochure contains general information about fish consumption and specific advice for all water bodies in California where OEHHA developed advisories through 2002. More recent advisories do not appear in the brochure, but can be found under Advisory Information for Specific Water Bodies. The brochure is available in both html and pdf:
Advisories on Sport Fish Consumption in California (html)
Advisories on Sport Fish Consumption in California (pdf)

 
 
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