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August 22, 2019

For more information, contact Bill Shugart 


 State agency deems more than 60% of the tested water bodies in Alabama as dangerous and in need of a warning

BIRMINGHAM – Last month, the Alabama Department of Public Health released its annual fish consumption advisories, which high-light the state’s recommended limits on the consumption of different types of fish found in Alabama’s rivers and streams. 132 advisories were issued across 98 waterbodies in Alabama. NONE of these advisories were listed on the Little River.

According to the 2019 report, the state tested fish at 214 locations in 152 different bodies of water. 132 of those locations (across 98 different water bodies in the state) were deemed dangerous and included an advisory on the consumption of fish on those rivers and streams. In total, there are 196 of these health advisories across the state. More than half (53%) of the advisories are for largemouth bass — the most sought after game fish in Alabama and the official State Freshwater Fish of Alabama.

After catching and testing certain types of fish, the state issues these advisories to warn anglers not to consume fish that are contaminated with dangerous pollutants like polychlorinated bi-phynels (PCBs) and methylmercury. Many of the advisories warn the public not to eat any fish from the water bodies, while others recommend limiting exposure to one or two meals per month.

Our partners at Coosa Riverkeeper have updated their popular FISH GUIDE program to include the 2019 advisories. FISH GUIDE was developed over several years as a response to surveys conducted with more than 125+ fishermen on the Coosa River to educate fishermen throughout the state and alert them to the fish consumption advisories in their watershed. In addition to providing fishermen with supplementary information about the fish consumption advisories each year, the program also features a toll-free hotline for fishermen to immediately hear the advisories throughout the State.  That hotline has now been updated with the 2019 advisories. Anglers can simply call 1 844-219-RISK to hear the current fish consumption advisories on all the water bodies throughout Alabama. “I know many of you fish Lake Guntersville and Nickajack on the Tennessee and Lake Weiss on the Coosa. This is good information to know.” Bill Shugart 

“These advisories serve as a reminder that our backyard is polluted and potentially dangerous,” Curt Chaffin, policy director at the Alabama Rivers Alliance, said. “The state provides a vital public service by warning folks not to eat our contaminated fish, but we must understand this is a public safety issue. Fishing is a way of life in Alabama — generations of us have made countless memories and supported local economies from getting out on the water. We will always fish in the River State; we just need to make sure Alabamians have the information needed to do it safely.”

To learn more about the toxins in our fish and rivers, and for more information about FISH GUIDE, please visit or

Our Mission is to Foster and Protect the pristine resource of Little River through education, awareness and monitoring. 

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