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Consumption Advisories and PFAS

The DNR works closely with the Department of Health Services (DHS) to issue consumption advisories for per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) where and when necessary. Fish consumption advisories are managed by the DNR's Fisheries Management Program and deer consumption advisories are managed by the DNR's Wildlife Management Program.

June 9, 2021: New Fish Consumption Advisories Issued For Yahara Chain

The DNR and DHS have issued new PFAS-based fish consumption advisories for Yahara Chain waters in Dane and Rock counties. Elevated levels of PFOS were found in several species collected from lakes Monona, Kegonsa and Waubesa. These new advisories include Wingra Creek, Starkweather Creek, Lake Monona, Lake Waubesa, Upper and Lower Mud Lake, Lake Kegonsa and the Yahara River downstream to where it meets the Rock River. Low levels of PFOS were found in fish sampled from Lake Mendota and Lake Wingra. As such, no PFOS consumption advice will be issued for those lakes. Learn more about the new advisories.

A complete list of consumption advisories can be found in the 2020-2021 Choose Wisely booklet.

Fish Consumption

Fish Consumption and PFAS

Fishing is an important part of life in Wisconsin and eating fish that you catch can be part of a healthy, balanced diet. Fish are generally high in protein, contain vitamins and minerals and are the primary food source for healthy omega-3 fats.

However, fish may take in pollutants from their environment and their food. In Wisconsin, the DNR regularly tests fish to determine if they contain pollutants and special fish consumption advice is issued for waterbodies where higher levels of pollutants are measured.

For most of Wisconsin's 10,000+ waterbodies, the general statewide fish consumption advisory [PDF] should be followed. For the 146 waterbodies where increased levels of pollutants have been measured, special fish consumption advice should be followed.

In Wisconsin, mercury and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) are the pollutants upon which most special fish consumption is based. At some sites, though, elevated levels of other pollutants, including dioxins and perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS), a type of PFAS, are the basis for special fish consumption advice.

Consumption Advice

If you follow fish consumption advisories, you can get the health benefits from eating fish while reducing your risk from contaminants.

  • Before going fishing, use the Choose Wisely guide to determine if your fishing spot has special advice and then follow the consumption advice appropriate for the species and length of fish you'd like to eat.
  • You can also search for advice for any waterbody in the state using the online Find Advice tool.

Where DNR Has Sampled Fish For PFAS

The DNR has tested fish for PFAS (including PFOS and PFOA) in a number of Wisconsin waters. The map and table below include locations that have been tested since 2006. Efforts are underway to test fish from more locations and to revisit previous locations in order to re-test fish.

Map of surface water bodies sampled for PFAS since 2006.

Map of surface water bodies sampled for PFAS since 2006

Waterbody Status
Fox River, DePere to Green Bay Previously sampled, PFOS-based advice not issued
Green Bay Previously sampled, PFOS-based advice not issued
Lake Kegonsa, Dane County Current PFOS-based advice
Lake Mendota, Dane County Previously sampled, PFOS-based advice not issued
Lake Michigan Previously sampled, PFOS-based advice not issued
Lake Monona, Dane County Current PFOS-based advice
Lake Superior Current PFOS-based advice
Lake Waubesa, Dane County Current PFOS-based advice
Lake Wingra, Dane County Previously sampled, PFOS-based advice not issued
Lake Winnebago Previously sampled, PFOS-based advice not issued
Manitowoc River, Hayton Millpond Previously sampled, PFOS-based advice not issued
Manitowoc River, Jordan Creek Previously sampled, PFOS-based advice not issued
Mauthe Lake, Fond du Lac County Previously sampled, PFOS-based advice not issued
Menominee River, Chalk Hills Flowage Previously sampled, PFOS-based advice not issued
Menominee River, Grand Rapids Flowage Previously sampled, PFOS-based advice not issued
Menominee River, Lower Scott Flowage Previously sampled, PFOS-based advice not issued
Milwaukee River Estuary Previously sampled, PFOS-based advice not issued
Milwaukee River, Grafton to Estabrook Falls Previously sampled, PFOS-based advice not issued
Mississippi River, Pools 3-6 Current PFOS-based advice
Mississippi River, Pool 8 Previously sampled, PFOS-based advice not issued
Osprey (Squaw) Lake, Sawyer County Previously sampled, PFOS-based advice not issued
Peshtigo River, High Falls Flowage Previously sampled, PFOS-based advice not issued
St. Louis River Previously sampled, PFOS-based advice not issued
Silver Creek, Monroe County Current PFOS-based advice
Starkweather Creek, Dane County Current PFOS-based advice
Upper and Lower Mud Lakes, Dane County Current PFOS-based advice
Warner Park Lagoons, Dane County Previously sampled, PFOS-based advice not issued
Wingra Creek, Dane County Current PFOS-based advice
Wisconsin River, below Rhinelander Previously sampled, PFOS-based advice not issued
Wisconsin River, Biron Flowage Current PFOS-based advice
Wisconsin River, Rhinelander to Petenwell Previously sampled, PFOS-based advice not issued
Wisconsin River, Petenwell Flowage Current PFOS-based advice
Wisconsin River, Prairie du Sac to Mississippi River Previously sampled, PFOS-based advice not issued
Yahara River (downstream to the Rock River), Dane County Current PFOS-based advice

Deer Consumption

Deer Consumption and PFAS

Wisconsin has one current consumption advisory for deer.

In September 2020, the DNR and DHS issued a Do Not Eat Advisory for the liver of white-tailed deer in the Marinette area based on the results of PFAS sampling in deer tissue. More information can be found on the safely eating wild game page.