Understanding Fish Consumption: Making Informed Choices

Navigating the Health Benefits and Risks of Fish Consumption

Health Benefits and Concerns

Fish is an essential component of a healthy diet, offering numerous nutritional benefits. However, concerns regarding contaminants like mercury can be perplexing. The key lies in making informed choices to ensure optimal health.

Smart Choices

Our advice is simple yet effective: "Eat fish, be smart, choose wisely!" By selecting fish low in mercury and other contaminants, you can enjoy the health benefits while minimizing risks.

Tips to Reduce Contaminants

Follow these tips to mitigate contamination risks:

  • Remove skin, organs, and fat before cooking.
  • Opt for a diverse range of fish.
  • Choose younger and smaller fish, adhering to legal limits.

Current Advisories

While there are 49 advisories in Washington State due to contaminants, it's essential to continue consuming fish for its health benefits. Aim for at least two fish meals per week, but be discerning in your choices. Opt for a variety of fish with low contaminant levels.

Partial List of Advisories

Below is a partial list of advisories in Washington State. It's crucial to note that most advisories include fish safe for consumption, with 24 healthy fish choices available.

Checking Advisories

Before embarking on a fishing trip, ensure you check advisories at or call 1-877-485-7316. For more detailed information and advice, particularly for women and children, visit

Green Sturgeon Information

  • Species Description: The Green Sturgeon is characterized by its olive green to dark green coloration, featuring approximately 8-11 dorsal scutes. It possesses a vent located between pelvic fins and scutes behind the vent.

Specific Advisories

Here are some notable advisories for various waterbodies in Washington State:

  • Northern Pikeminnow: Women of childbearing age and children should refrain from consumption.
  • Columbia River – Middle – Bradford Island: Bass, bluegill, carp, catfish, crappie, sucker, sturgeon, walleye, and yellow perch are not recommended for consumption by anyone.
  • Lower Columbia River (former Vanalco Plant): Clams from this area are advised against for everyone.
  • Duwamish River (Lower): All resident fish, shellfish, and crab should be avoided by everyone.
  • Lake Whatcom: Smallmouth bass consumption is not recommended for women of childbearing age and children.
  • Lake Washington: Common carp, cutthroat trout, largemouth bass, northern pikeminnow, and smallmouth bass are not recommended for consumption by anyone.
  • Olympic National Park (Lake Ozette): Largemouth bass and northern pikeminnow should not be consumed by anyone.
  • Spokane River (Idaho Border to Upriver Dam): Consumption of all species from this area is advised against for everyone.
  • Wenatchee River (Icicle Creek to Columbia River): Mountain whitefish consumption is not recommended for anyone.

Sturgeon Information

  • Species Description: The White Sturgeon is identified by its gray back shading, approximately 11-14 dorsal scutes, and vent behind pelvic fins. There are no scutes behind the vent.
Wild Advisor Pro


The legal advice provided on Wild Advisor Pro is intended as a summary of the hunting, camping, hiking, and fishing laws and regulations and does not constitute legal language or professional advice. We make every effort to ensure the information is accurate and up to date, but it should not be relied upon as legal authority. For the most current and comprehensive explanation of the laws and regulations, please consult the official government websites or a qualified legal professional. Wild Advisor Pro is not responsible for any misunderstandings or misinterpretations of the information presented and shall not be held liable for any losses, damages, or legal disputes arising from the use of this summary information. Always check with the appropriate governmental authorities for the latest information regarding outdoor regulations and compliance.