Fish Consumption Advisory

Fish are an excellent food -- low in saturated fat and high in protein, vitamins and minerals. Studies have shown that eating fish may help lower the chance of heart disease. Most fish are healthy to eat. However, any fish (whether store-bought or sports-caught) could contain contaminants. Mercury is one contaminant present in fish from North Dakota’s lakes and rivers. While the levels of mercury are usually low in smaller fish, larger fish of certain species can contain levels that may be harmful if those fish are eaten too often.

Do I have to stop eating fish? There is no need to stop eating fish. But if you wish to reduce your exposure to mercury, you need to make wise choices about the kinds of fish you eat and how often you eat fish.

The North Dakota Department of Health has issued advisories for the consumption of fish from certain North Dakota lakes and rivers. Fish taken from the listed waters contain levels of mercury which may be harmful to women of childbearing age, especially pregnant and breastfeeding women, and young children of the population if they are eaten too often.

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