Michigan has plenty of lakes and rivers to fish throughout the year. Fresh fish is tasty and we consume a good amount of fish from some of the lakes that surround us. How healthy are the fish that we eat in Michigan?

Michigan's Ten Deepest Lakes That Aren't a Great Lake

When I was growing up on the shores of Lake Michigan I remember hearing about the fish from the Lake and the inland lakes that surrounded the area. They're not safe to eat or they're no good for you. I thought it was "hogwash". There is truth to this.


The State of Michigan offers Eat Safe Fish Guides. They are broken down by county so you can get a better idea about what specifically is going on in your neck of the woods. They offer updates and the most recent update has to do with rainbow smelt and carp because of PFOS and PCBS. If you consume these fish from our lakes, be aware.

Here's some info that will be helpful when uderstanding science stuff and what it means. The EPA explains:

PCBs belong to a broad family of man-made organic chemicals known as chlorinated hydrocarbons. PCBs were domestically manufactured from 1929 until manufacturing was banned in 1979. They have a range of toxicity and vary in consistency from thin, light-colored liquids to yellow or black waxy solids.

Perfluorooctane sulfonic acid (PFOS) is one of a group of related chemicals known as perfluorinated alkylated substances (PFAS). These are also called perfluorochemicals (PFCs). This group of chemicals is commonly used in a wide range of industrial processes and is found in many consumer products.

When this gets into the water it doesn't do the fish any good. Here is the updated Eat Safe Fish Guide info.

The following waterbodies have new consumption guidelines for carp due to PCBs:

Thompson Lake in Livingston County: Do Not Eat. This means everyone should avoid eating carp from Thompson Lake.

Earl Lake in Livingston County: Limited. This means individuals under age 15, those with health problems such as cancer or diabetes, and those who might have children in the next several years, are pregnant, or are breastfeeding should avoid eating carp from Earl Lake. All other individuals should limit their consumption of carp from Earl Lake to one or two servings per year.

The following waterbodies have new consumption guidelines for rainbow smelt due to PFOS:

Lake Huron: No more than 6 MI Servings per year. Lake Michigan: No more than 1 MI Serving per month. Portage Lake in Houghton County: No more than 1 MI Serving per month. Gull Lake in Kalamazoo County: No more than 2 MI Servings per month. Higgins Lake in Roscommon County: No more than 4 MI Servings per month.

Be smart about the fish you consume.

Jellyfish in Michigan

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