The Fish Guide is a useful tool to help anglers make informed decisions about eating caught fish. The guide collects fish consumption advisories from the states of Virginia, Maryland, and the District of Columbia that focus on fish caught in the Potomac River and its tributaries. Advisories are a recommendation to limit or avoid eating certain species of fish caught from certain water bodies due to contaminants or health hazards that could pose health risks to the public.
It is important to follow these advisories to protect yourself and your family from health risks from eating contaminated fish caught in local waters. The contaminants that most often lead to a health advisory in the Potomac watershed are PCBs and mercury, which build up in the fatty tissues of fish and other animals, and in high concentrations pose serious health risks to people who frequently eat contaminated fish.
Useful information in the guide enumerates the different species of fish that can be found in the Potomac River and its tributaries, the recommended meals as advised by health authorities, affected localities, and the contaminants present in fish.
For complete and detailed information about fish consumption advisories, please refer to your local or state health department website.