WA DOH wants you to eat less Columbia River sturgeon

Mar 23, 2023, 11:33 AM | Updated: 12:17 pm

DOH guideline...

Pacific Lamprey and their mouths. (Photo by: Marli Miller/UCG/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

(Photo by: Marli Miller/UCG/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

You may want to “pass” on this fish, as the Washington State Department of Health (DOH) recommends limiting how much someone should eat Columbia River sturgeon or lamprey due to high levels of mercury and Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCB).

Consuming large amounts of fish contaminated with PCBs and mercury can cause negative health effects over time and can lead to potential learning and behavioral problems.

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The department recommends you eat no more than six meals — of sturgeon — each month, or just four if you’re pregnant or nursing. For lamprey, the department recommends no more than four meals a month for the general population and two meals a month for those pregnant or nursing.

“While it is important to know the risks of consuming fish with high levels of contaminants, DOH does not recommend people stop eating all fish. A diet with a variety of fish sources has health benefits,” DOH said in the health advisory. “Fish are high in protein, low in fat, and rich in nutrients like omega-3 fatty acids, which provide heart disease protection and hold neurological benefits.”

The department originally issued a health advisory in April 2022 limiting sturgeon and lamprey consumption to eight meals a month but has revised that recommendation based on new information from the Oregon Health Authority.

DOH will continue to evaluate and update the sturgeon and lamprey advisories as future data become available and update their recommendations here.

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WA DOH wants you to eat less Columbia River sturgeon