Michigan releases updated fish consumption guidelines relating to PFAS in Kent, Iosco, and Marquette Counties

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: July 20, 2018

CONTACT: Angela Minicuci, 517-241-2112, minicucia@michigan.gov

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 Bostwick and Myers Lakes in Kent County; the Au Sable River downstream of Foote Dam and including Van Etten Creek, and Van Etten Lake in Iosco County; and Silver Lead Creek in Marquette County.

Fish in these water bodies were tested as a result of the state’s PFAS effort, but mercury testing was included as all fish have some amount of mercury. There are several guidelines set as a result of elevated levels of mercury.

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.

For all other fish from these water bodies, follow the Statewide Eat Safe Fish Guidelines.

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

Bostwick Lake

Fish from Bostwick Lake were collected in 2018 and tested for mercury and PFOS.

Type of Fish

Chemical Causing 
MI Serving Guideline

Size of Fish
(length in inches)

Recommended MI
Servings per Month

Bluegill

Mercury

Any

12

Largemouth Bass

Mercury

Under 17”

2

Over 17”

1

Smallmouth Bass

Mercury

Under 17”

2

Over 17”

1

Sunfish

Mercury

Any

12

Myers Lake

Fish from Myers Lake were collected in 2018 and tested for mercury and PFOS.

Type of Fish

Chemical Causing
MI Serving Guideline

Size of Fish
(length in inches)

Recommended MI
Servings per Month

Black Crappie

Mercury

Any

8

Bluegill

Mercury

Any

12

Sunfish

Mercury

Any

12

White Crappie

Mercury

Any

8

Au Sable River, downstream of the Foote Dam; includes Van Etten Creek

Large- and smallmouth bass were collected in 2018 and tested for mercury and PFOS. The Eat Safe Fish guideline for these fish remains the same.

Type of Fish

Chemical Causing
MI Serving Guideline

Size of Fish
(length in inches)

Recommended MI
Servings per Month

Largemouth Bass

PFOS

Any

Do Not Eat

Smallmouth Bass

PFOS

Any

Do Not Eat

The following are existing guidelines for fish caught from the Au Sable River downstream of Foote Dam, including Van Etten Creek.

Type of Fish

Chemical Causing
MI Serving Guideline

Size of Fish
(length in inches)

Recommended MI
Servings per Month

Bluegill

PFOS

Any

Do Not Eat

Brown Trout

PCBs

Any

6 PerYear2x

Carp

PCBs

Any

Limited

Chinook Salmon

PCBs

Any

6 Per Year2x

Coho Salmon

PCBs

Any

6 Per Year2x

Rainbow Trout

PCBs

Any

6 Per Year2x

Rock Bass

PFOS

Any

Do Not Eat

 

Steelhead

PCBs

Any

6 Per Year2x

Suckers

PFOS

Any

Do Not Eat

Sunfish

PFOS

Any

Do Not Eat

Walleye

Dioxins

Any

6 Per Year2x

All Other Species

PFOS

Any

Do Not Eat

Van Etten Lake

Fish from Van Etten Lake were collected in 2018 and tested for mercury and PFOS. The Eat Safe Fish guideline for Van Etten Lake Walleye remains the same.

Type of Fish

Chemical Causing
MI Serving Guideline

Size of Fish
(length in inches)

Recommended MI
Servings per Month

Black Crappie

Mercury & PFOS

Any

4

Largemouth Bass

Mercury & PFOS

Under 17”

2

Largemouth Bass

Mercury

Over 17”

1

Northern Pike

Mercury

Any

1

Smallmouth Bass

Mercury & PFOS

Under 17”

2

Smallmouth Bass

Mercury

Over 17”

1

Walleye

Mercury

Any

1

White Crappie

Mercury & PFOS

Any

4

The following are existing guidelines for fish caught from the Van Etten Lake.

Type of Fish

Chemical Causing
MI Serving Guideline

Size of Fish
(length in inches)

Recommended MI
Servings per Month

Catfish

PCBs

Any

Limited

Suckers

PFOS & Mercury

Under 14”

8

Mercury

14” to 20”

4

Over 20”

2

Silver Lead Creek, Marquette County

Brook trout from Silver Lead Creek were collected in 2018. The filets were tested for PFOS, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and mercury. The guideline was updated to list both PFOS and PCBs.

Type of Fish

Chemical Causing
MI Serving Guideline

Size of Fish
(length in inches)

Recommended MI
Servings per Month

Brook Trout

PCBs & PFOS

Any

2

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