State health officials have issued their annual caution against eating fish and shellfish caught in some Kansas rivers and lakes.
They’re advising people not to eat bottom-feeding fish taken from the Arkansas River between the Lincoln Street dam in Wichita and Cowskin Creek near Belle Plaine.
And they’re suggesting that people limit their consumption of any species of fish taken from the Little Arkansas River between Valley Center and the river’s confluence with the Arkansas River in Wichita. A monthly maximum of one eight-ounce serving for adults or one four-ounce serving for children is recommended.
No Wichita-are lakes are included in the advisory.
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This year’s consumption advisory, which was compiled by the Department of Health and Environment and the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism, covers parts of rivers and lakes in Cherokee, Douglas, Johnson, Leavenworth, Reno, Sedgwick and Sumner counties.
Clint Goodrich, a KDHE environmental scientist, said the 2012 advisory remains unchanged from the one issued a year ago for Wichita area rivers and lakes.
Goodrich said the annual advisories are compiled after samples of fish are collected from more than 30 locations around the state and sent to the Environmental Protection Agency to be tested for such contaminants as PCBs and chlordane.
Levels of chlordane, a now-banned pesticide that was once used to kill termites, have been dropping in recent years, Goodrich said.
PCBs, which were used from the 1920s to the 1970s in paints, waterproofing and cements, are still being found in fish caught in Kansas.
“PCBs are still out there, and they’re still a concern to us,” he said.
The advisory said that in general, women who are pregnant, may become pregnant, are nursing or have children under the age of 12 may want to consult a physician about mercury exposure and safe levels of fish consumption.
The advisory said those who consume locally caught fish more than once a week can reduce their mercury intake by limiting their consumption of large predatory fish such as largemouth bass, walleye and wiper.
The full text of this year’s advisory can be found at www.kdheks.gov/news/web_archives/2012/01052012b.htm.