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 based on guidance from the Great Lakes Consortium for Fish Consumption Advisories. DNR’s Fisheries Management Program manages fish consumption advisories and DNR’s Wildlife Management program manages deer consumption advisories.
May 4, 2023: New Fish Consumption Advisory for Green Bay and Associated Tributaries
The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and the Department of Health Services (DHS) today announced a new PFAS-based consumption advisory for the Bay of Green Bay and its tributaries.
Elevated levels of PFOS (perfluorooctane sulfonate), a type of PFAS (per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances), were detected in rainbow smelt sampled from Green Bay. As a result, the DNR and DHS recommend consuming only one meal per week of rainbow smelt from the Bay of Green Bay and its associated tributaries up to the first dam. This includes portions of the Peshtigo, Oconto and Menominee rivers.
More information is available in the site-specific advisory for Green Bay and associated tributaries.
- 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 should be followed. For the 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.
Following fish consumption advisories provides you 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.
Advice For Hmong And Spanish Anglers
- Where DNR Has Sampled Fish For PFAS
The DNR has sampled fish for PFAS (including PFOS and PFOA) in a number of Wisconsin waters. The table below includes locations that have been sampled since 2006. Efforts are underway to sample fish from more locations and to sample locations previously visited. Locations that were sampled for PFAS but did not warrant a PFOS-based advisory may still have consumption advisories based on other contaminants such as mercury or PCBs. Visit the Choose Wisely guide or the fish consumption webpage for more information including details of the advisories.
Waterbody Status Black Earth Creek, Dane and Iowa counties Fox River, DePere to Green Bay Previously sampled, PFOS-based advice not issued Green Bay and tributaries to the first dam (except the Lower Fox River) La Crosse River at Angelo Pond, Monroe County Current PFOS-based advice Lake Kegonsa, Dane County Lake Mendota, Dane County Previously sampled, PFOS-based advice not issued Lake Michigan Previously sampled, PFOS-based advice not issued Lake Monona, Dane County Lake Superior Current PFOS-based advice Lake Waubesa, Dane County 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 Menominee River, Lower Scott Flowage to Green Bay 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 Oconto River, Stiles to Green Bay Osprey (Squaw) Lake, Sawyer County Previously sampled, PFOS-based advice not issued Peshtigo River, High Falls Flowage Previously sampled, PFOS-based advice not issued Peshtigo River, Peshtigo to Green Bay St. Louis River Previously sampled, PFOS-based advice not issued Silver Creek, Monroe County Current PFOS-based advice Starkweather Creek, Dane County Upper and Lower Mud Lakes, Dane County Warner Park Lagoons, Dane County Previously sampled, PFOS-based advice not issued Wingra Creek, Dane County Wisconsin River, below Rhinelander to Lake Mohawksin Previously sampled, PFOS-based advice not issued due to low sample size Wisconsin River, Lake Mohawksin Current PFOS-based advice Wisconsin River, Lake Wausau Wisconsin River, Stevens Point Flowage Wisconsin River, Biron Flowage Current PFOS-based advice Wisconsin River, Petenwell Flowage Current PFOS-based advice Wisconsin River, Castle Rock Lake Current PFOS-based advice Wisconsin River, Prairie du Sac to Mississippi River Previously sampled, PFOS-based advice not issued due to low sample size Yahara River (downstream to the Rock River), Dane County
- 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.
- What To Know About PFAS Found In Deer Liver In The Marinette and Peshtigo Area
- Lo que debe saber sobre los PFAS que se encuentra en el hígado de venado en el área de Marinette y Peshtigo
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Statewide Sampling Effort
To investigate background levels of PFAS in white-tailed deer throughout Wisconsin, the DNR analyzed liver samples from deer harvested during the November 2020 nine-day gun deer hunt. A total of 32 liver samples collected from 32 different counties were submitted for analysis. Only one liver sample had detectable levels of PFAS. Perfluoro-n-octanesulfonic acid (PFOS), the PFAS compound for which consumption advisories are based, was not detected in any samples.
After studying the results of this sampling effort, the DNR and DHS are not recommending a statewide consumption advisory for PFAS in white-tailed deer liver. Based on the results, the DNR and DHS have determined statewide restrictions on the consumption of white-tailed deer liver, outside of the existing advisory area within a 5-mile radius of the JCI/Tyco Fire Technology Center in Marinette, are not warranted.