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Wisconsin Fish Consumption Advisory Updates Announced

Yahara Chain In Dane County

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and Department of Health Services (DHS) today announced changes to the existing PFAS consumption advisory for portions of the Yahara Chain of Lakes in Dane County.

Following the initial advisory issued for parts of the Yahara Chain in June 2021, the DNR Bureau of Fisheries Management collected additional fish samples for analysis. Elevated levels of PFOS (perfluorooctane sulfonate), a type of PFAS (per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances), were found in white bass collected from Lake Kegonsa.

As a result, the DNR and DHS have developed a new advisory for Yahara Chain waters from Wingra Creek, Starkweather Creek, Lake Monona, Lake Waubesa, Upper and Lower Mud Lake, Lake Kegonsa and the Yahara River downstream to where it meets the Rock River.

In addition to the existing advisories issued in June 2021, the DNR and DHS are now recommending the consumption of one meal per month for white bass.

SPECIESCURRENT ADVISORY   NEW ADVISORY   
White BassGeneral/Statewide*1 meal/month

*The general/statewide white bass consumption advice for women <50 and children is 1 meal/month and 1 meal/week for women >50 and men.

PFAS are a group of human-made chemicals used for decades in numerous products, including non-stick cookware, fast food wrappers, stain-resistant sprays and certain types of firefighting foam. These legacy contaminants have made their way into the environment in a variety of ways, including spills of PFAS-containing materials, discharges of PFAS-containing wastewater to treatment plants, and certain types of firefighting foams.

The risk of health problems increases with the amount of contaminated fish you eat. Following consumption advisories will help protect you from excess PFOS exposure and other contaminants found in fish, including mercury and PCBs. A complete list of consumption advisories can be found in the updated Choose Wisely Booklet.

You can find additional fish consumption advice and information on the effects of PFAS on the DNR’s website.

Lake Wausau And Stevens Point Flowage

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and the Department of Health Services (DHS) today announced a new PFAS-based consumption advisory for several fish species in Lake Wausau in Marathon County and the Stevens Point Flowage in Portage County (both of which are segments of the Wisconsin River) based on fish sampling.

Elevated levels of PFOS (perfluorooctane sulfonate), a type of PFAS (per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances), were found in several fish species sampled from both Lake Wausau and the Stevens Point Flowage.

As a result, the DNR and DHS recommend the following consumption guidelines for anyone harvesting fish from those waterbodies:

Lake Wausau (Marathon County): Advisory is from the Wausau Dam downstream to the Schofield Dam and Rothschild Dam, including the Big Rib River until it flows under Hwy 29.

SPECIESPREVIOUS ADVISORY  NEW ADVISORY
Black CrappieGeneral/Statewide*1 meal/week
BluegillGeneral/Statewide*1 meal/week
Rock BassGeneral/Statewide*1 meal/week
Yellow PerchGeneral/Statewide*1 meal/week
Common Carp1 meal/month (PCBs)1 meal/month (PCBs) (No Change)
Redhorse1 meal/month (PCBs)1 meal/month (PCBs) (No Change)

Stevens Point Flowage (Portage County): Advisory begins at the Du Bay Dam and flows downstream to the Stevens Point Dam.

SPECIESPREVIOUS ADVISORY  NEW ADVISORY
Black CrappieGeneral /Statewide*1 meal/week
BluegillGeneral /Statewide*1 meal/week
Rock BassGeneral /Statewide*1 meal/week
Yellow PerchGeneral /Statewide*1 meal/week
Common Carp1 meal/month (PCBs)1 meal/month (PCBs) (No Change)
Redhorse1 meal/month (PCBs)1 meal/month (PCBs) (No Change)

*The general/statewide consumption advice for women <50 and children is 1 meal/week for bluegill, crappies, yellow perch, sunfish, rock bass, bullheads and inland trout and 1 meal/month for all other species. For women >50 and men, the general/statewide consumption advice is 1 meal/week for all species except for bluegill, crappies, yellow perch, sunfish, rock bass, bullheads and inland trout, which are unrestricted.

PFAS are a group of human-made chemicals that have been used for decades in various products, such as non-stick cookware, fast food wrappers, stain-resistant sprays and certain types of firefighting foams that have made their way into the environment.

Health risks may increase when fish with high levels of PFAS are consumed. These can include increased cholesterol levels, decreased immune response, and decreased fertility in women, among other health effects. More information is available on the DHS website.

Following fish consumption advisories will help protect you from consuming excess PFOS, Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs) and mercury. A complete list of up-to-date consumption advisories can be found in the DNR’s Choose Wisely booklet.

Additional fish consumption advice and information on the effects of PFAS can be found on the DNR’s website.

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