These Middle Tennessee catfish still aren’t safe to eat
Catfish at the Cheatham Reservoir in Davidson and Cheatham Counties are still not safe to eat, according to officials.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WSMV) – The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation has announced it’s still not safe for some people to eat catfish caught from the Cheatham Reservoir in Davidson and Cheatham Counties.
TDEC said it extended its precautionary fish consumption advisory due to detecting polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), a man-made chemical known for being carcinogenic or causing birth defects, in catfish caught at the reservoir. TDEC warns pregnant women, nursing mothers, and children should avoid eating the catfish and that all others limit consumption to one meal per month.
Other recreational activities such as boating, kayaking, swimming, wading, and catch-and-release fishing carry no risk, the department’s media release said.
In 2022, TDEC collected catfish, freshwater drum, spotted bass, and largemouth bass from the reservoir at two stations – the Lytle Farms area and near Pardue Pond Wildlife Refuge. Based on the fish tissue results that document catfish species now significantly exceed Tennessee’s trigger point on PCBs.
“We provide these advisories so the community can make informed decisions about whether or not to consume the fish they catch,” said TDEC Deputy Commissioner Greg Young. “Unlike ‘do not consume’ advisories that warn the general population to avoid eating fish from a particular body of water altogether, precautionary fish consumption advisories are specifically directed to sensitive populations such as children, pregnant women, nursing mothers and those who may eat fish frequently from the same body of water.”
TDEC will post warning signs at primary public access points.
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