This image, from Eat Fish Often? A Minnesota Guide to Eating Fish (260 KB pdf file, MN Dep't of Health) details how to prepare fish to minimize contaminants like PCB's. Mercury, unfortunately, is distributed through the entire fish. Other tips on preparing and cooking fish can be found at this Minnesota Sea Grant website. Find out more about Minnesota fish advisories from the Minnesota Department of Health's website View some frequently asked questions about contaminants in fish.

Fish Consumption Advisories

Toxins and carcinogens are a major concern in Great Lakes sediments and in harbors of the Great Lakes, reservoirs of contamination that cause us to set health advisories and post warnings about the dangers of eating certain fish. Toxins and carcinogens are generally not thought to be a major threat to our local streams, although there are mercury-related health advisories for certain St. Louis River fish and for brook trout in Miller Creek.

The following was taken from the
Minnesota Department of Health website

Fish Consumption Advice

Most fish are healthy to eat and are an excellent source of low-fat protein. Eating fish may also reduce the risk of heart disease, diabetes and other chronic illnesses. But any fish (store-bought or sport-caught) could contain contaminants such as mercury and PCBs that can harm human health - especially the development of children and fetuses. You can't see, smell, or taste the mercury or PCBs in fish. That's why it is important to know which fish are safer than others to eat.

Site-Specific Meal Advice for Tested Lakes and Rivers

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR), the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA), and the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) collaborate in producing the fish consumption advisory. Each year, the DNR collects fish from lakes and rivers for testing. Minnesota has 6,000 fishable lakes and fish from nearly 1,000 lakes and streams have been tested for contaminants. This website section lists all waters from which fish have been tested. NOTE: The waters that have been tested are not necessarily more contaminated than those not tested.

Specific Local Sites:

(click here to view the most current information)

Lake Superior: An advisory exists for the entire population for a variety of fish that is related primarily to PCB (polychlorinated biphenyl) residues. In Minnesota, PCBs are found mainly in Lake Superior and major rivers such as the Mississippi River. The MDH guidelines are based on the contaminant level measured in a skin-on fillet.

St. Louis River: An advisory exists related to mercury (Hg) for certain fish for both the general population and for pregnant women, women who may become pregnant, and children under age 15.

Miller Creek: There is a mercury (Hg) related advisory associated with the brook trout in the stream for pregnant women, women who may become pregnant, and children under age 15.