DEQ map shows statewide fish and swim advisories

February 11, 2019 - 3:47 pm
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(WWL.com)

The Department of Environmental Quality has an online, interactive map on it’s website that lets anglers see the fish consumption and swimming advisories for rivers, lakes, and bayous in Louisiana. DEQ Scientist Al Hindrichs says it’s an intuitive tool, and gives a comprehensive look at the advisories for 58 bodies of water statewide.

“You start out and you have the full state with about 58 different little plots on it. As you zoom in you can click on the spot and it will bring up the details of the fish advisories.”

Two of the advisories warn against both swimming and fishing and two other warn only against swimming, but the majority are warnings about contaminants in the fish. Hindrichs says once you see the advisories, click the icons because each area has its own, unique, restrictions.

“It is always important to read the details because some of them are very specific as to who can eat what, and how much.”

The advisory also lets you know how many servings of the contaminated fish would be safe to eat.

A quick survey of the site showed a vast majority of the warnings were related to one problem area for fish: mercury. Hindrichs says the state has once again begun extensive mercury testing in it’s waters to get a clearer picture of just how contaminated our waterways are.

“A big part of it is the mercury testing that we did about ten years ago, and that we resumed recently. About two years ago we resumed mercury testing of fish.”

Hindrichs notes the majority of the mercury poisoning is not from one source, but from general atmospheric contamination.

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