2020 Alabama Fish Advisories

What are the Alabama Fish Consumption Advisories?

The Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH) and the Alabama Department of Environmental Management (ADEM) sample fish in Alabama’s rivers, streams, and lakes, to compile the Annual Alabama Fish Consumption Advisory. Fish Consumption Advisories provide information and recommendations about eating fish from Alabama rivers and lakes that may be contaminated. This information enables people to make more informed choices about the types of fish they eat, and how much to consume.

You can view the full advisory document on the ADPH website: https://www.alabamapublichealth.gov/tox/assets/al-fish-advisory-2020.pdf

How often are advisories published?

Advisories are typically updated each summer using data collected by ADEM.

What do I need to know about the 2020 advisories?

The main contaminants in Alabama are mercury, PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls), and PFOS (perfluoralkyl sulfonate)

Advisories are divided into 6 regions (listed below). For each region, the advisory listings include the waterbody name, location, species of fish affected, and advisory, which includes the consumption recommendation and the main contaminant.

Advisories include: 

  • Do Not Eat Any
  • Number of recommended meals/ month
  • No restriction

Alabama watersheds are grouped into 6 major basins for advisories: 

1. Tennessee River

2. Escatawpa-Tombigbee-Mobile Rivers

3. Black Warrior-Cahaba Rivers

4. Alabama-Coosa-Tallapoosa Rivers

5. Perdido-Choctawhatchee-Chattahoochee Rivers

6. Coastal Region

How can I get information about my specific waterbody? 

You can call the Coosa Riverkeeper’s toll-free Fish Advisory Hotline for information about waterbodies throughout Alabama: 1-844-219-RISK

Which groups are considered “at-risk” for certain fish consumption? 

  • Babies and children under 14
  • Women who are nursing, pregnant, or plan to become pregnant

What rules should “at-risk” groups follow to stay healthy?

  • Do not eat king mackerel, shark, swordfish, or tilefish
  • Limit white tuna consumption
  • Eat up to 12 ounces of fish and shellfish lower in mercury
  • For children, follow the recommendations above in smaller portions

Who should I contact if I have questions?

Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH) – 1-334-205-5973 

Alabama Department of Environmental Management (ADEM) – 1-334-271-7700

ADEM Fish Advisories Interactive Map

Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (ADCNR) – 1-34-242-3471

Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) – 1-800-882-5263

Coosa Riverkeeper Toll-Free Hotline – 1-844-219-RISK

Coosa River Basin only

For information on reporting fish kills, please view the 2017 AWWareness article on the topic: