Illinois Dumps “Do Not Eat Advisory” For Illinois River Fish
Depending on what kind of fishing you do, this news will mean you can brush up on your favorite fish recipes, or just continue to throw the fish back where you found them.
In the interests of full disclosure, I've been fishing about 5 times, and each time the method was catch-and-release. I've yet to walk in the door at home with a string of catfish and say to Amy "Guess you've got some fish to clean." That's probably a good thing, as it would more likely be fatal to me than the catfish.
However, growing up along the Rock River in Oregon, there were plenty of times that we joined in with some fisherman along the banks across from Blackhawk Statue (The Eternal Indian, to be precise) for a nice meal of pan-fried catfish.
You Can Eat Your Catch From The Illinois River Now, But Not Every Day
For the first time since the 1970s, Illinois public health officials have dropped a "do not eat" advisory for sport fish in the Illinois River. Why the change from a nearly 50-year rule? ABC-7 Chicago says:
The Illinois Department of Public Health relaxed the warning because concentrations of polychlorinated biphenyls, or PCBs, have declined, the Chicago Tribune reported. The toxic contaminants were banned in 1979 but stick around in the environment, prompting the advisory. IDPH issues advisories annually based on fish samples collected from 40 to 50 streams, rivers, and inland lakes, as well as from four stations in Lake Michigan.
As I mentioned above, you can go ahead and eat your sport fish catch from the Illinois River, but health officials say recommended consumption is now no more than one meal a week. The previous advice was to limit consumption to once meal per month.