YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Every year, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources outlines the bodies of water in Ohio where there are advisories about fish consumption and which waters where you should not wade, swim or fish.

These advisories are in place through a partnership between the Ohio Department of Health and the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency and the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.

In general, for most fish consumption, people can safely eat one serving of Ohio-caught fish every week or four servings per month. However, there are many bodies of water in Ohio where advisories adjust those numbers, generally because of chemical contamination.

The most common chemicals found include methylmercury, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). Over time, eating contaminated fish
too often can cause health problems.

There are two bodies of water in Ohio where you should not eat some or all of the fish:

  • Little Scioto River (State Route 739 near Marion to Holland Road in Marion County) due to PAHs – all species.
  • Tuscarawas River (Massillon to State Route 416, New Philadelphia in Stark and Tuscarawas County due to PCBs –Common Carp

Lake Milton, the Mahoning River, Mosquito Creek and Berlin Lake all have advice on meal frequency for species and the number of fish consumed from these waters.

  • Berlin Lake: One fish per month of channel catfish and common carp due to mercury, PCBs
  • Mahoning River from Rockhill Avenue NE, Alliance to Pennsylvania State Line through Mahoning, Portage, Stark and Trumbull counties: Channel catfish one to two per month; smallmouth bass due to PCBs; smallmouth bass/walleye one per month due to mercury and PCBs; bluegill, common carp, Northern pike, rock bass one per month due to PCBs; yellow perch one per week due to PCBs.
  • Lake Milton: Common carp one per month due to PCBs.
  • Mosquito Creek: Northern pike and common carp one per month due to PCBs and mercury and bluegill one per week due to PCBs and lead

Do not wade or swim in these waters:

  • Mahoning River (NW Bridge Road in Warren to the Pennsylvania State Line in Mahoning and Trumbull counties) PAHs and PCBs
  • Dick’s Creek, River mile 4.1 (1 mile downstream from North Branch Dick’s Creek, Middletown to the Great Miami River in Butler County – PCBs.
  • Little Scioto River (State Route 739, near Marion to Holland Road in Marion County) PAHs

Wildlife officials advise anglers to choose smaller (younger) fish because they have not had enought time to build contaminants in their bodies. Also, avoid bottom feeders and suckers and and vary the types of fish you catch and eat.