COLUMBIA, S.C. – Fishing in South Carolina is a summer hobby for many people, and the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control has updated the fish consumption advisory to help the public identify which fish are safe to eat and which fish to avoid.

“Our website has a state map with the latest advisories, information, a booklet, and other materials free to download,” said David Wilson, chief of DHEC’s Bureau of Water. “This information will help anglers determine whether to keep and eat the fish they catch in South Carolina waters or release them.”   According to Wilson, largemouth bass in Dargan’s Pond, Lake George Warren, and Lake Ashwood have been added to this year’s advisories due to mercury in their tissue.

Consumption recommendations for this species are for no more than one meal per week.   “People can still safely eat fish taken from the state’s waters if they follow the fish consumption advisory guidelines,” Wilson said. “These guidelines highlight the types and amounts of fish that are safe to eat from South Carolina waters.”

Each advisory is based on one meal (or 8 ounces) of uncooked fish, which is about the size of two decks of cards. Consumption advice is given for a specific species of fish within a water body.

The contamination is in the fish and does not make the water unsafe for recreational or drinking uses.

Fish are an important part of a healthy diet for everyone, contain protein and nutrients, are low in saturated fat, and contain omega-3 fatty acids. Wilson said pregnant women, women who might become pregnant, infants, and children should not eat any fish with an advisory.The 2015 Fish Consumption Advisory is now available online.

For more information about fish consumption advisories, call DHEC’s Fish Advisory Hotline toll-free at 1-888-849-7241.