Public health warning: Do not eat freshwater fish caught locally – Nashoba Valley Voice

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health warned anglers who catch fish in rivers and ponds to avoid eating it.

In a recently issued advisory the DPH cited contamination with hazardous chemicals and a naturally-occurring metal as reasons to avoid or minimize consumption of freshwater fish caught locally.

Mercury and PFAS (per- and polyfluoroalkyl chemicals) are the main substances that cause concern in the waterways of the region. DPH’s latest advisory is based upon sampling and testing in rivers and lakes throughout the state. The advisory is specific as to where the fish were caught.

Dracut Dave Ouellette, Health Director at Dracut summarizes that the general recommendation is to eat “no more” than one meal of freshwater fish per month, and in some cases no more. The DPH has also advised against eating all largemouth bass.

Freshwater fish should be avoided by vulnerable individuals, including children under 12 years of age and women who are pregnant, breastfeeding or could become pregnant.

The DPH does not include trout in the advisory, because it stocks water bodies of the state twice a year.

The Concord, Merrimack, and Nashua rivers, as well as Lowell canals are at the top of the list. List also includes many local lakes and ponds.

The Concord River advisory includes Concord, Carlisle and Bedford as well as Lowell.

Merrimack River advisory – Tyngsboro, Chelmsford, Lowell, Dracut, Tewksbury, Methuen, Andover, Lawrence

The advisory on the Nashua River affects Clinton and Lancaster. It also includes Harvard, Devens Ayer, Groton Pepperell, Devens and Shirley.

The advisory also includes lakes and ponds. The advisory also includes lakes and ponds, including: Nabnasset Pond in Westford, Ames Pond in Tewksbury, Heart Pond in Chelmsford and Westford, Massapoag Ponds at Dunstable and Tyngsboro, Mirror Lakes at Devens and Harvard, Flint Ponds at Tyngsboro, Forge Ponds, Littleton, and Westford, Long Ponds and Lake Mascuppics located between Dracut, Tyngsboro, and Dr

To read the complete listing of water sources contaminated with PFAS or mercury, go to

DPH does not test for E. Coli in cities or towns.