Contaminants in Fish
The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation, Division of Water Resources issues advisories for consumption of fish from certain Tennessee waters. These fish contain potentially hazardous contaminants.
High risk groups such as children, pregnant women, and nursing mothers should avoid consumption of contaminated fish. Because adverse health effects for normal risk groups are considered to be a result of routine and long-term exposure, an infrequent meal of listed fish is not believed to have a measurable health risk.
Health risks can be substantially reduced by taking a few precautions. Big fish tend to have higher concentrations of toxic materials than smaller ones since they are older and have had more time to accumulate them. Many toxic materials are stored in fatty tissues, so when cleaning fish remove and discard the belly flap and fatty strip along the backbone and lateral line. Filleting the fish and removing the skin is also advisable. Broiling, baking, or grilling provides additional risk reduction. These risk reduction suggestions do not reduce health risks related to mercury.
For specific information regarding aquatic contaminants or affected waters, contact your regional TWRA office or the Water Resources Division (Environment and Conservation) office at (615) 532-0625.
Current Fish Tissue Advisories (January 2016)
|Beech Reservoir||Henderson||Entirety (877 acres)||Mercury||Precautionary Advisory for largemouth bass*|
|Big Sandy River and Embayment||Henry, Benton, Carroll and Henderson||From embayment on mouth on Kentucky Reservoir to headwaters. (Mile 0.0 to 59.0)||Mercury||Precautionary advisory for all bass species*|
|Cypress Creek||Shelby||Entirety (7.7 miles)||Chlordane & other Pesticides, PCB's||DO not eat the fish|
|Loosahatchie River||Shelby||Mile 0.0-17.0 (Hwy. 14, Austen Peay Highway)||Chlordane, Other Organics, Mercury||Do not eat the fish.|
|McKellar Lake||Shelby||Entirety (13 miles)||Chlordane, Other Organics, Mercury||Do not eat the fish|
|Mississippi River||Shelby||MS stateline to just downstream of Meeman-Shelby State Park (31 mi)||Chlordane, Other Organics, Mercury||Do not eat the fish. Commerical fishing prohibited by TWRA.|
|North Fork, Forked Deer River||Dyer
|From the mouth of the Middle Ford Forked Deer River (mile 17.6) upstream to State Highway 188 (mile 23.6)||Mercury||Precautionary advisory for largemouth bass*|
|Nonconnah Creek||Shelby||From the Mouth to Kansas St. (Mile 0.0-1.8)||Chlordane, Other Organics||Do not eat the fish.
Advisory ends at Horn Lake Road bridge.
|Wolf River||Shelby||From Mouth to Germantown Road (Mile 0.0-18.9)||Chlordane, Other Organics, Mercury||Do not eat the fish.|
|Woods Reservoir||Franklin||Entirety (3,908 acres)||PCB's||Catfish should not be eaten|
|Buffalo River||Humphreys, Perry||From the mouth upstream to Hwy. 438 (Mile 31.6)||Mercury||Precautionary advisory for smallmouth bass*|
|Beech Creek||Wayne||From the mouth to origin (Mile 16.7) including TN River Embayment||Mercury||Do not eat the fish. Avoid contact with sediment between Leatherwood Branch & Smith Branch|
|Duck River||Humphreys, Hickman||From mouth of Buffalo River (mile 15.8) upstream to I-40 (mile 31.8)||Mercury||Precautionary advisory for largemouth, smallmouth, and spotted bass*|
|Entirety (4,400 acres)||PCB's, Chlordane||Precautionary advisory for carp and catfish*|
|Chattanooga Creek||Hamilton||Mouth to GA state line (11.9 miles)||PCBs, chlordane||Fish should not be eaten.
Also, avoid contact with water.
|East Fork of Poplar Creek including Poplar Creek embayment||Anderson, Roane||Mouth to New Hope Pond (Mile 0.0-15.0)||Mercury, PCB's||Fish should not be eaten. Also avoid contact with water|
|Emory River||Roane, Morgan||From Hwy. 27 near Harriman (mile 12.4) upstream to Camp Austin Road Bridge (Mile 21.8)||Mercury||Precautionary advisory for all fish *|
|Fort Loudoun Reservoir||Loudon, Blount||Entirety (14,600 acres)||PCB's (Mercury - upper portion only)||Commercial Fishing for catfish prohibited by TWRA. No catfish or largemouth bass over two pounds should be eaten. Do not eat largemouth bass from the Little River embayment. Due to mercury, precautionary advisory for any sized largemouth bass from Hwy. 129 to the confluence of Holston and French Broad Rivers (534 acres).*|
|French Broad River||Cocke||From Rankin Bridge (mile 71.4) to Hwy 321 near Newport (mile 77.5)||Mercury||Precautionary advisory for largemouth bass*|
|Hiwassee River||Meigs, McMinn, Bradley||From Highway 58 (mile 7.4) upstream to the railroad bridge just upstream of U.S. Hwy 11 (Mile 18.9)||Mercury||Precautionary advisory for largemouth bass*|
|Holston River||Hawkins, Sullivan||From the mouth of Poor Valley Creek embayment (mile 89.0) upstream to the confluence of the North and South Forks of the Holston near Kingsport||Mercury||Precautionary advisory for all fish*|
|Melton Hill Reservoir||Knox, Anderson||Entirety (5,690 acres)||PCBs||Catfish should not be eaten.|
|Nickajack Reservoir||Hamilton, Marion||Entirety (10,370 acres)||PCB's||Precautionary advisory for catfish.*|
|Norris Reservoir||Campbell, Anderson, Union, Claiborne, Grainger||
Clinch River portion. (Powell River embayment not included in advisory.) (15,213 acres
|Mercury||Precautionary advisory for largemouth bass, striped bass, smallmouth bass and sauger. *|
|North Fork Holston River||Sullivan, Hawkins||Mile 0.0-6.2 (VA stateline)||Mercury||Do not eat the fish. Advisory goes to TN/VA line.|
|Sequatchie River||Marion||From Tennessee River (mile 0.0) to State Hwy. 283 near Whitwell (mile 22.1)||Mercury||Precautionary advisory for largemouth bass*|
|South Holston Reservoir||Sullivan||Portion within Tennessee (7,206 acres)||Mercury||Precautionary advisory for largemouth bass.*|
|Tellico Reservoir||Loudon, Monroe||Entirety (16,500 acres)||PCB's, Mercury||Catfish should not be eaten|
|Watauga Reservoir||Carter, Johnson||Entirety (6,427 acres)||Mercury||Precautionary advisory for largemouth bass and channel catfish*|
|Watts Bar Reservoir||Roane, Meigs,
Rhea & Loudon
|TN River portion (38,000 acres)||PCBs||Catfish, striped bass, and hybrid (striped bass-white bass) should not be eaten. Precautionary advisory* for white bass, sauger, carp, smallmouth buffalo, and largemouth bass.|
|Watts Bar Reservior||Roane, Anderson||Clinch River arm (1,000 acres)||PCBs||Striped bass should not be eaten. Precautionary advisory for catfish and sauger.*|
|* Precautionary Advisory - Children, pregnant women, and nursing mothers should not eat the fish species named. All other persons should limit consumption of the named species to one meal per month.|