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Eating Fish from Michigan Lakes and Rivers

Eating Fish from Michigan's Lakes & Rivers


Map with boys fishing

Did you know that Michigan has over 11,000 lakes, streams, and rivers, as well as the longest freshwater coastline in the United States? Because of this, Michiganders are lucky that we're never far from a great fishing hole.

Unfortunately, though, some of those fishing holes have been polluted with chemicals - including PCBs, dioxins, and mercury*. Over the years, these toxic chemicals on the bottoms of lakes and rivers can build up in fish. You can learn how this happens by clicking the link on the right called "How do chemicals end up in fish?"

Although fish are a healthful food choice, it's important that you know what could possibly be in your fish. When you eat fish that have chemicals in them, the chemicals can build up in your body, too.

You can keep this from happening by choosing to eat fish that are lower in chemicals. The Eat Safe Fish in Michigan brochure, the Eat Safe Fish Guide, and the Statewide Safe Fish Guidelines can help you choose safer fish to eat.

Getting Started...

  • Quick Start to Safer Fish
    Need help identifying that fish you just caught? Look no further, the Quick Start to Safer Fish handout will help you quickly identify fish that can be caught in Michigan, and also offers insight on the safety of eating those fish! If you fish on a regular basis remember to check your Eat Safe Fish Guide for more complete information!



Find Your Area

 Button to Find Your Area 

There are some areas in Michigan that have rather unique environmental problems. Some of these areas are covered in our Find Your Area section of this website.

Two new sites that we're working on are Clark's Marsh and the lower AuSable River near Oscoda and the Lange & Revere Canals in St Clair Shores. As we continue to learn about these sites, we will post updates on the webpages linked here.

Please contact us if you have any questions.









Other Quick Links


Looking for more information?

Click here to print or download any of our fish materials.

Or you can call 1-800-648-6942 to request that a
MDCH Eat Safe Fish packet be mailed to you.




Return to the Michigan Eat Safe Fish homepage. 


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