Current Carolina Fish Consumption Advisories

Throughout the states of North and South Carolina various advisories for limiting the consumption of fish taken from lakes and rivers have been issued by public health officials. Below is a list of affected waters in the Catawba River basin in the Carolinas.

North Carolina Advisories

South Carolina Advisories

 

Don't eat this bass

 

North Carolina Advisories in the Catawba Basin

As of the summer of 2015 these are the existing fish consumption advisories for the Catawba River basin in North Carolina as posted by the N.C. Division of Public Health. The web page from N.C. DPH with a complete list of NC freshwater lakes and rivers that have an advisory can be found here.

Catawba Riverkeeper has conducted its own fish tissue testing and those results from Lake James and Mountain Island Lake can be seen here and here. A web page of documents and information compiled by Catawba Riverkeeper regarding the considerable expansion in 2011 of fish consumption advisories in NC and SC can be seen here.


 
NC Statewide Advisory


Pollutant: Mercury

Date Issued/Updated: April 2, 2008

Advisory: Women of Childbearing Age (15-44 years), Pregnant Women, Nursing Women, and Children under 15: Do not eat fish high in mercury, including largemouth bass caught in the state. Eat up to two meals per week of fish low in mercury. A meal is 6 ounces of uncooked fish for adults, or 2 ounces of uncooked fish for children under 15.
All Other Individuals: Eat no more than one meal per week of fish high in mercury, including largemouth bass caught in the state. Eat up to four meals per week of fish low in mercury. A meal is 6 ounces of uncooked fish for adults, or 2 ounces of uncooked fish for children under 15.
 

Lake Norman


Affected Counties: Catawba, Iredell, Lincoln and Mecklenburg

Pollutants: MercuryPolychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs)

Date Issued: April 9, 2013

Advisory: Levels of PCBs have been found in striped bass in Lake Norman that exceed the state action level for PCBs of 0.05 mg/kg. Because previous studies have shown that largemouth bass in all waters of North Carolina have elevated levels of mercury, this advisory for Lake Norman includes largemouth bass as well as striped bass. Pregnant women, nursing women, women who may become pregnant, and children under age 15 should not eat any striped bass or largemouth bass from Lake Norman. To guard against mercury exposure and potential PCB exposure, other people should not eat more than two meals a month of largemouth bass and one meal a week of striped bass from Lake Norman. A meal of fish is considered approximately six (6) ounces of uncooked fish.


Lake Wylie


 Affected Counties: Gaston and Mecklenburg (S.C. portion as well)

Pollutants: MercuryPolychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs)

Date Issued: December 23, 2011

Advisory: Elevated levels of PCBs have been found in largemouth bass in Lake Wylie. In addition, previous studies have shown that largemouth bass in all waters of North Carolina have elevated levels of mercury. Pregnant women, nursing women, women who may become pregnant, and children under age 15 should not eat any largemouth bass. To guard against mercury and PCB exposure, other people should not eat more than two meals a month of largemouth bass from this lake.

 

Mountain Island Lake


Affected Counties: Gaston, Mecklenburg

Pollutant: MercuryPolychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs)

Date Issued: April 25, 2013

Advisory: Update to the advisory issued January 6, 2011. Testing has shown levels of PCBs in blue catfish and channel catfish in Mountain Island Lake exceeding the state action level for PCBs of 0.05 mg/kg. Previous studies have shown that largemouth bass in all waters of North Carolina have elevated levels of mercury. DHHS recommends that no one eat channel catfish from Mountain Island Lake. In addition, public health officials recommend that pregnant women, nursing women, women who may become pregnant, and children under age 15 should not eat any largemouth bass or blue catfish from Mountain Island Lake. Other people should not eat more than two meals a month of largemouth bass and one meal a month of blue catfish from this lake. A meal of fish is approximately six (6) ounces of uncooked fish. The PCB and mercury contamination does not present a known health risk for persons engaging in other recreational activites such as touching the water, wading, swimming, boating or handling the fish.


This is a quick reference visual chart for advisories issued by Charlotte-Mecklenburg Storm Water Services. Click to enlarge.

NC Fish Advisories chart 

 


South Carolina Advisories in the Catawba-Wateree Basin

As of the summer of 2015 these are the existing fish consumption advisories for the Catawba River basin in South Carolina as posted by the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control. The web page from S.C. DHEC with a complete list of SC freshwater lakes and rivers that have an advisory can be found here.
 

Catawba River


From Lake Wylie to Fishing Creek Reservoir
 
Pollutant:  PCB Advisory
 

One meal per month
Blue Catfish
Channel Catfish
Largemouth Bass 

One meal per week
Black Crappie

Fishing Creek Reservoir and Cedar Creek Reservoir


Pollutant:  PCB Advisory

One meal per month
Black Crappie
Blue Catfish
Channel Catfish
Largemouth Bass

 

Lake Wateree


Entire lake
 

Pollutant:  PCB Advisory

One meal per week
Black Crappie

One meal per month
Blue Catfish
Channel Catfish
Largemouth Bass
Striped Bass

 

Lake Wylie


Entire lake (see also N.C. advisory above)

Pollutant:  PCB Advisory

One meal per week
Largemouth Bass

 

Wateree River


From Lake Wateree to the Congaree River
 

Pollutant:  PCB Advisory

One meal per month
Black Crappie

One meal per month
Blue Catfish
Channel Catfish
Largemouth Bass
Striped Bass


 

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News
Jan 25, 2017 NC Riverkeeper Report
From the perspectives of 12 NC Riverkeepers, this report discusses how multiple environmental issues pose challenges in the pursuit of clean, plentiful water. Whether you are in North Carolina or downstream in South Carolina, read this report about the state of environmental enforcement.
Dec 13, 2016 Community Foundation of Gaston County grants $5,000 to CRF for Riverkeeper Program
The Community Foundation will fund Catawba Riverkeeper's work in Gaston County.
Dec 12, 2016 A Successful Launch of our Water Education Program at Great Falls Elementary
Catawba Riverkeeper Foundation in partnership with 4-H Clemson Cooperative Extension successfully completed our pilot Education Outreach Program with 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade students from Great Falls Elementary.
Sep 27, 2016 Lake Wateree Fall Cleanup a Sweeping Success
86 volunteers collected 5,490 pounds of trash from Lake Wateree
Jun 13, 2016 Dozens of Youth Reached in Water Education Outreach Program Pilot Lessons
More news…
Report Pollution in the Catawba River

Help protect your River! 

Tell your Riverkeeper if you see:

  • Sewage Overflows
  • Failure to control sediment from construction sites
  • Illegal clearing of buffer areas
  • Fish kills 
  • Unpermitted discharges
  • Other issues that concern you

Click here to fill out a pollution report or to report water pollution to Catawba Riverkeeper by phone, call 1-888-679-9494 or 704-679-9494.  In addition, to informing your Riverkeeper, you should also report spills or contamination to federal, state and local environmental officials.

To report South Carolina water pollution call 1-888-481-0125.

To report North Carolina spills or fish kills, call your local regional Department of Environment & Natural Resources office during normal business hours (704-663-1699 for most Catawba basin areas or (828) 296-4500 for Burke, Caldwell, McDowell and other mountain counties) or 800-858-0368 after hours.  (For more information on NC spill reporting, click here)

Alliances

The Catawba Riverkeeper Foundation is a proud member of EarthShare North Carolina, the North Carolina Conservation Network, River Network and the Waterkeeper Alliance.  It also in in an alliance with Clean Air Carolina to address issues, such as sprawl, that cause air and water problems.

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