Are wild fish safe to eat in Michigan?

Is fish safe to eat in Michigan?  This is a debate I hear a lot.  Some people would never eat a wild fish caught in the Detroit river or even the Saint Clair river while others eat a few meals a week.  Some people believe that woman and children should never eat wild fish but some woman I know grew up eating fish.  So who is right?

That is a hard question for a guy like me to answer so why not leave it up to the experts?  For those of you that are unaware, the Michigan DNR has put together a great article with their recommendations on how much fish people should eat.  I recently found this article while trying to research if food was safe to give to my children. 

After reading the report, I was pretty impressed by the work the DNR did.  I liked how the information was broken down by major lakes/rivers and also by man/woman/child.  They even have a breakdown based on the size of each type of fish.

Another great section showed how each Michigan fish ranked in terms of consumption risk.  Smaller fish like perch and bluegill ranked "safer to eat" while predator fish like musky were on the "high advisory" side.   This makes sense to me since the smaller fish eat minnows and bugs while musky can eat fish as big as freshwater drum.

Other things that I found interesting was how different bodies of water had different toxin concerns.  Some of the spots I fish, the main concern was mercury but on others it was pcbs.  This also can differ by type of fish.  Mercury was not a concern for Detroit river walleye while it was for other types of fish.

Enough about what I liked about the article... If you are wondering if eating fish in Michigan is safe for you, check out the consumption report.  It helped me decide if eating fish was safe for me and my family.  Hopefully it will help you as well! 

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