To protect the health of anyone who eats Ohio-caught fish, an annual advisory for how often these fish can be safely eaten is prepared by the Ohio Department of Health (ODH) in cooperation with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) and the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (OEPA).
There are many benefits to including fish in a balanced diet for people of all ages. Fish are high in protein, low in fat, and contain healthy oils called omega-3 fatty acids which are important during fetal development and which help prevent heart disease in adults. Additionally, fishing can be a rewarding hobby that brings people closer to nature, provides a source of natural food, and can even help with wildlife conservation.
Most Ohio sport fish are safe to eat ONE MEAL PER WEEK, unless there is a more or less restrictive advisory. View the full Ohio Sport Fish Consumption Advisory booklet for specific advisories. ODH advises this general statewide advisory due to low level mercury contamination.
The one meal per week advisory protects sensitive populations, including women of child bearing age and children under age 15.
Two meals per week
Sunfish (bluegill, green, longear, redear)
One meal per week
All other Ohio sport fish not specified in this table
One meal per month
Flathead catfish 23" and over
Northern pike 23" and over
Steelhead trout from Lake Erie and its tributaries
For more advice, including how to clean and prepare caught fish, turtle advisories, and Do Not Wade advisories, visit the General Recommendations page.
The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (Ohio EPA) manages an interactive map of fishing advisories in Ohio.
NOTE: Beginning in 2019, the Ohio Sport Fish Consumption Advisory moved from being hosted on the OEPA Division of Surface Water website to the Ohio Department of Health website. Any references to the old OEPA URL are outdated and may not work.