Michigan releases updated fish consumption guidelines relating to PFAS in Lake St. Clair, Flint River

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 3, 2018

CONTACT: Lynn Sutfin, 517-241-2112

LANSING, Mich. – As part of the State of Michigan’s effort to address the emerging contaminant, perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) has issued Eat Safe Fish guidelines for fish caught from Lake St. Clair and the Flint River in Genesee, Lapeer and Saginaw counties.

Fish in Lake St. Clair were tested as a result of the state’s PFAS effort, but guidelines have been set as a result of elevated levels of perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS), polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and/or mercury. Guidelines have previously existed for Lake St. Clair relating to mercury, PCBs and dioxins. While there are three municipal drinking water intakes in Lake St. Clair, they were found to have detectable but very low levels of PFOS, well below the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Lifetime Health Advisory Level of 70 parts per trillion.

Although Flint River fish consumption guidelines have been in place since 1993 for mercury and PCBs, PFOS was first included for fish in 2015 in the Flint River. Additional fish were collected from the Flint River in 2016 and analyzed in 2017 resulting in updated guidance. The Flint River is not a source of drinking water.

The Eat Safe Fish guidelines are set to be protective for everyone including children and pregnant and breastfeeding women. They are also set to be protective for people with existing health problems such as cancer or diabetes. Eat Safe Fish guidelines are provided as MI Servings. One MI Serving for adults is 6-8 ounces of fish (about the size of an adult’s hand). For children, one MI Serving is 2-4 ounces of fish (about the size of an adult’s palm).

The Limited MI Serving category is a special guideline used to describe fish that should only be eaten once or twice per year, at most, due to higher levels of chemicals. However, people who are under the age of 15; have health problems, such as cancer or diabetes; are planning on having children in the next several years; or are breastfeeding, should avoid eating all fish listed as Limited. The 2x indicates the number of MI Servings can be doubled when fat is cleaned away and fish is cooked so more fat can drip away.

Below are the current fish guidelines for each individual water body. For all other fish from these water bodies, follow the Statewide Eat Safe Fish Guidelines.

MDHHS updates its Eat Safe Fish Guides annually in the spring. For current guidelines relating to PFAS contamination in fish, visit Michigan.gov/pfasresponse. For more information about the Eat Safe Fish guidelines, visit Michigan.gov/eatsafefish.

Genesee County
Flint River (downstream of Mott Dam)

Type of Fish

Chemicals causing
MI Serving Guideline

Size of Fish
(length in inches)

MI Servings
per Month

Carp

PCBs

Any

Limited

Largemouth Bass

PFOS

Any

6 per Year

Rock Bass

PFOS

Any

1

Smallmouth Bass

PFOS

Any

6 per Year


Genesee County
Flint River (upstream of Mott Dam, including the Mott and Holloway Reservoirs)

Type of Fish

Chemicals causing
MI Serving Guideline

Size of Fish
(length in inches)

MI Servings
per Month

Black Crappie

Mercury

Any

4

Carp

PFOS

Any

2

Catfish

Mercury

Any

4

Largemouth Bass

PFOS

Any

6 per Year

Rock Bass

PFOS

Any

1

Smallmouth Bass

PFOS

Any

6 per Year

Walleye

PFOS

Any

1

White Crappie

Mercury

Any

4


Lapeer County
Flint River (upstream of Mott Dam, including the Mott and Holloway Reservoirs and North and South Branches of the Flint River)

Type of Fish

Chemicals causing
MI Serving Guideline

Size of Fish
(length in inches)

MI Servings
per Month

Black Crappie

Mercury

Any

4

Carp

PFOS

Any

2

Catfish

Mercury

Any

4

Largemouth Bass

PFOS

Any

6 per Year

Rock Bass

PFOS

Any

1

Smallmouth Bass

PFOS

Any

6 per Year

Walleye

PFOS

Any

1

White Crappie

Mercury

Any

4


Saginaw County
Flint River (downstream of Mott Dam)

Type of Fish

Chemicals causing
MI Serving Guideline

Size of Fish
(length in inches)

MI Servings
per Month

Carp

PCBs

Any

Limited

Largemouth Bass

PFOS

Any

6 per Year

Rock Bass

PFOS

Any

1

Smallmouth Bass

PFOS

Any

6 per Year

 


Lake St. Clair

Type of Fish

Chemical Causing
MI Serving Guideline

Size of Fish
(length in inches)

MI Servings
per Month

Bluegill

PFOS

Any

4

Carp

PCBs

Any

Limited

Catfish

Dioxins

Any

Limited

Black Crappie

Mercury

Under 9”

8

Over 9”

4

Freshwater Drum

PCBs and Mercury

Any

2

Largemouth and Smallmouth bass

PCBs and Mercury

Under 20”

2

Over 20”

1

Muskellunge

Mercury

Any

Do Not Eat

Northern Pike

Mercury

Any

2

Rock Bass

PCBs

Any

12x

Sturgeon

PCBs

Any

Limited

Sunfish

PFOS

Any

4

Walleye

PCBs and Dioxins

Any

6 per Year2x

White (Silver) Bass

PCBs

Any

Limited

White Crappie

Mercury

Under 9”

8

Over 9”

4

Yellow Perch

Mercury

Any

4


Additionally, a special notice has been in place for a certain area of Lake St. Clair and the Lange-Revere Canals.

Lake St. Clair and within two miles of the Lange-Revere Canals (between Lakefront Park and Veterans Memorial Park and out into open water)

Type of Fish

Chemical Causing
MI Serving Guideline

Size of Fish
(length in inches)

MI Servings
per Month

Bluegill

PCBs

Any

6 per Year2x

Carp

PCBs

Any

Limited

Largemouth Bass

PCBs

Under 20”

12x

PCBs and Mercury

Over 20”

1

Muskellunge

Mercury

Any

Do Not Eat

Smallmouth Bass

PCBs

Under 20”

12x

PCBs and Mercury

Over 20”

1

Sunfish

PCBs

Any

6 per Year2x

Walleye

PCBs and Dioxins

Any

6 per Year2x

Yellow Perch

PCBs

Any

22x

All Other Species

PCBs

Any

Limited
 


Lange-Revere Canals

Type of Fish

Chemical Causing
MI Serving Guideline

Size of Fish
(length in inches)

MI Servings
per Month

All Species

PCBs

Any

Do Not Eat

 

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