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Updated guidance for consumption of fish caught in Wyoming waters

The Wyoming Game and Fish Department logo
Wyoming Game and Fish Department

The guidelines for how much Wyoming-caught fish one can consume has changed.

The Wyoming Game and Fish Department (WGFD) and Wyoming Department of Health have updated the recommendation for how much fish someone can safely eat that is caught in Wyoming waters. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), most fish contain mercury and too much can be harmful to one’s nervous systems, especially to young children, those who are pregnant and breastfeeding mothers.

Sara DiRienzo, the public information officer for WGFD, said previously the guidance was water specific.

“So, if you caught this type of fish from this specific water to Wyoming, it would have a certain recommendation on how much you could consume,” she said. “That's pretty difficult to track and kind of confusing for folks.”

Now, the guidance is simplified to being species specific, DiRienzo said. She added that the WGFD surveyed fish from places where they know fish is being consumed and streamlined the guidance.

“So, it doesn't matter now, where you catch the trout, whether it's in the Flaming Gorge or up in a lake in the Snowies, the recommendation stays the same based on the species and not the species and the water,” she said.

Some of the safest choices include trout that is less than 10 inches, freshwater drum and kokanee salmon. Some of the fish one should avoid are trout over 15 inches, bass over 12 inches, black crappie over 10 inches and channel catfish over twenty inches. More guidance can be found here.

Caitlin Tan is the Energy and Natural Resources reporter based in Sublette County, Wyoming. Since graduating from the University of Wyoming in 2017, she’s reported on salmon in Alaska, folkways in Appalachia and helped produce 'All Things Considered' in Washington D.C. She formerly co-hosted the podcast ‘Inside Appalachia.' You can typically find her outside in the mountains with her two dogs.
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