Skip to content
News Releases

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 6, 2011

Catawba Basin fish consumption advisory updated

COLUMBIA – The state's fish consumption advisory for the Catawba Basin has been amended based on additional fish tissue samples from the area, the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control reported today.

"The May 2010 fish consumption advisory for the Catawba Basin included largemouth bass, blue catfish and striped bass caught in Lake Wateree due to the presence of Polychlorinated Biphenyls," said David Wilson, chief of DHEC's Bureau of Water. "Since then our staff has collected and analyzed more fish from several reservoirs and river segments within the Catawba Basin."

Wilson said that based on the results of the test results, DHEC has issued the following fish consumption advice:

  • Lake Wylie; Entire Lake
    • Largemouth Bass - No More Than One Meal per Week
  • Catawba River; From Lake Wylie to Fishing Creek Reservoir
    • Largemouth Bass - No More Than One Meal per Week
  • Fishing Creek Reservoir and Cedar Creek Reservoir
    • Largemouth Bass - No More Than One Meal per Month
  • Lake Wateree; Entire lake including waters below Cedar Creek Reservoir
    • Largemouth Bass - No More Than One Meal per Week
    • Blue Catfish - No More Than One Meal per Month
    • Striped Bass - No More Than One Meal per Month
    • Black Crappie - No Restrictions

A meal is considered an eight ounce portion of uncooked fish, which is about the size of two decks of playing cards. Consumption advice is given for a specific species of fish within a water body. The PCB's are in the fish tissue and does not make the water unsafe for recreational or drinking uses.

"Past studies have shown that fish species lower on the food chain, such as bluegill and black crappie, tended to have lower levels of PCB's than large, predatory species, such as largemouth bass and striped bass," Wilson said. "It's possible that a similar pattern will be found in the Catawba Basin. We will continue to collect additional species within the watershed and will update the advisory as needed."

"People can still safely eat fish taken from the state's waters if they follow the fish consumption advisory guidelines," he said. "These guidelines tell you the types and amounts of fish that are safe to eat from waters in South Carolina. Our website at http://www.scdhec.gov/fish has a state map with the latest advisories, information, a booklet and other materials that can be easily downloaded. This information will help our citizens determine whether to keep and eat the fish they catch in South Carolina waters or release them back into the water."

Wilson said DHEC will place advisory signs at public boat landings of the newly included water bodies in February.

-###-

For more information:
Thom Berry – (803) 898-3885
E-mail – berrytw@dhec.sc.gov
BNR2009