EPA Unveils Fish Advisories

ST. MARYS — State officials released an updated fish consumption advisory list for 2012.

In a news release, the Ohio EPA announced it relaxed consumption advisories at four Ohio waterways and imposed more strict advisories at 10 bodies of water.

The four bodies of water that received relaxed standards included the Ottawa River in Lucas County, Caesar Creek Lake, LaDue Reservoir and Mill Creek in Union County. Those to receive stricter standards included Cross Creek in Jefferson County, Great Miami River, Lake Erie, Little Scioto River, Mill Creek in Cincinnati, Ottawa River in Lima, Pine Creek, Sandy Creek, Scioto River (upper section) and South Branch Portage River from Defiance Pike to river mouth.

Ohio EPA officials also conducted tests on fish tissue samples taken from Grand Lake St. Marys in November 2010, June 2011 and August 2011 to determine if the fish were affected by microcystin.

Of the tests, only the June sample set showed a detection level and it was only found in black crappie.

According to the news release, officials plan to continue sampling this year and will post updates when available.

“At this point the advisory hasn’t changed,” Ohio EPA spokesperson Dina Pierce told The Evening Leader. “In all cases, except for one species over one sampling in one month at Grand Lake St. Marys was non-detectable. In June, the black crappie came back with some hints.”

According to the Ohio EPA’s website, the current advisory for Grand Lake St. Marys remains in effect. It states largemouth bass, sunfish and yellow perch from the lake are safe to eat twice per week and meals of other species should be limited to one per week because of mercury contamination.

Pierce said the current advisory will remain in effect and officials will continue to conduct tissue sampling on fish pulled from the lake.

“Because everything else from both Grand Lake St. Marys and Lake Erie over much of the sampling was non-detectable, we are going to go back and get more data,” Pierce said.

“We’ll do some more processing and collect fish tissue. It could be that June was an anomaly.”

For more information, visit EPA.ohio.gov/dsw/fishadvisory/index.aspx.