DSHS Issues Updated Consumption Advisory for Lake Worth

News Release
March 7, 2018

The Texas Department of State Health Services today updated a fish consumption advisory for Lake Worth in Tarrant County due to unsafe levels of dioxins and polychlorinated biphenyls, or PCBs, in certain species of fish.

DSHS tested tissue samples from fish as part of a re-evaluation of the lake. Concentrations of dioxins and PCBs in blue catfish, common carp, flathead catfish, freshwater drum, smallmouth buffalo, striped bass and white bass exceed DSHS health guidelines and pose a risk to people who consume them.

DSHS now recommends people limit or avoid consumption of these species as outlined in the table below.

Contaminants of Concern Species Women of childbearing age
and children < 121
Women past childbearing age
and males 12 and older2
Dioxins and PCBs Blue catfish 1 meal/month 2 meals/month
Common carp 1 meal/month 2 meals/month
Flathead catfish DO NOT EAT 1 meal/month
Freshwater drum 1 meal/month 3 meals/month
Smallmouth buffalo DO NOT EAT DO NOT EAT
Striped bass 1 meal/month 2 meals/month
White bass 1 meal/month 2 meals/month

1A meal is four ounces of fish.
2A meal is eight ounces of fish.

The recommendations are stronger for children under 12 and women who are nursing, pregnant or may become pregnant because the nervous systems of unborn and young children are particularly susceptible to the health effects of these types of toxins.

The updated advisory replaces one issued in 2010 that advised people not to consume blue catfish, channel catfish and smallmouth buffalo. Elevated levels of dioxins and PCBs in fish do not pose a health risk for people swimming, boating or participating in other recreational activities.


(News Media Contact: Lara Anton, DSHS Press Officer, 512-776-7753)

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