DHHS offers new fish guidelines for Freska, Versluis lakes

As of March 15, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services advised the Kent County Health Department of contamination of fish from Freska and Versluis lakes. MDHHS caught and tested fish in the lakes last year for per and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS)  and mercury. Staff set “Eat Safe Fish” guidelines for fish caught in these lakes to protect everyone, including children, pregnant and breastfeeding women, and people with existing health problems such as cancer or diabetes.

Eat Safe Fish recommendations are provided as “MI Servings.” Think of the Michigan mitten shape: One MI Serving for adults is six to eight ounces of fish (about the size of an adult’s palm).

Freska Lake: Bluegill, sunfish, largemouth bass, and smallmouth bass filets were collected from Freska Lake in 2017 and tested for PFAS and mercury. PFAS and mercury were found in all the fish species. MDHHS issued the following recommendations for eating fish from Freska Lake:

For bluegill and sunfish, the existence of both mercury and PFOS causes the Health Department to recommend servings for any size fish be no more than two times per month. For largemouth and smallmouth bass, because of contamination of mercury, servings of fish over 18 inches be eaten no more than once a month and servings of fish under 18 inches be eaten no more than twice a month.

In Versluis Lake, Northern Pike were tested in 2017 and PFOS and mercury were detected. MDHHS issued the following recommendations: Northern Pike servings, because of mercury should be eaten no more than twice a month for fish under 30 inches and no more than once a month for fish over 30 inches.

An advisory has been added on the Kent County PFAS information pages at www.accesskent.com/PFAS.