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DNR & DHS issue new fish consumption advisories, including two water bodies in Oneida County

Katie Thoresen

The Wisconsin Departments of Natural Resources and Health Services are recommending people limit themselves to eating no more one meal a month with fish caught from the Moen Chain of Lakes.

Thefish consumption standard from the Great Lakes Consortium, which the DNR bases its advisories on, limits consumption to one meal per month when PFOS levels in fish are between 50 to 200 parts per billion [ppb].

Wisconsin DNR Toxicologist Sean Strom says average levels from the Moen Chain ranged from a low of about 34 ppb in rock bass upwards to about 94 ppb in Walleye.

“We tested like six different species and just based on the levels in those species, we felt the most protective way forward is to simply put the advisory on all species simply because all the species tested were in those advisory guidelines in terms of concentrations,” said Strom.

The fish came from Fifth Lake, but the advisory is for the whole chain.

Testing of fish in the chain started after levels of PFAS thousands of times higher than state safe drinking water standards were found in private wells in Stella.

Water in the Moen Chain has also come back with elevated levels of PFAS.

“We knew that there were fairly high levels of PFAS in the surface water and so we were not surprised to see it in the fish,” said Strom.

Strom says while there are no set plans, Snowden Lake is also on their radar for testing. That lake in Stella has also come back with high levels of PFAS in the water.

Wisconsin DNR

Outside of the Moen Chain, the DNR also added the Hat Rapids Flowage area of the Wisconsin River to its PFOS-based advisory.

That advisory is for all sizes of bluegill, pumpkinseed, rock bass, and yellow perch. The DNR and DHS do not recommend eating more than 1 meal per week of those fish.

“We encourage people to go out and continue to fish and bring some home to consume, but just simply follow the consumption advisories that might be in place for the particular body of water for which you're fishing,” said Strom.

Updated advisories also removed the mercury-based guidance for Kentuck Lake in Vilas County as further testing found decreased levels.

You can view the latest fish consumption advisories for water bodies in the state as well as general safe-eating guidelines here.

Katie Thoresen is WXPR's News Director/Vice President.
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