DNR issues PFAS fish consumption advisory for Lake Mohawksin

For the Tomahawk Leader

LAKE MOHAWKSIN – The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and the Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) on Tuesday, Oct. 11 announced new consumption advisories for several fish species in Lake Mohawksin and Castle Rock Lake, both of which are segments of the Wisconsin River, following results of fish sampling.

A release from DNR said elevated levels of PFOS (perfluorooctane sulfonate), a type of PFAS (per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances), were detected in several fish species sampled from both Castle Rock Lake and Lake Mohawksin in March and April 2021, respectively.

“PFAS are a group of human-made chemicals that have been used for decades in various products, such as non-stick cookware, fast food wrappers, stain-resistant sprays and certain types of firefighting foams that have made their way into the environment,” DNR stated. “Health risks may increase when fish with high levels of PFAS are consumed. These can include increased cholesterol levels, decreased immune response and decreased fertility in women, among other health effects. Following fish consumption advisories will help protect you from consuming excess PFOS, Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs) and mercury.”

The Lake Mohawksin advisory begins at the Lake Alice Kings Dam, the Jersey City Flowage Dam and the confluence of the Little Somo River and the Somo River. From those points, the advisory applies downstream to Pride Dam at the Tomahawk Mill.

DNR recommends reduced consumption of bluegill to one meal per week; pumpkinseed, one meal per month; yellow perch, one meal per week; black crappie, one meal per month; and rock bass, one meal per month.

There are consumption advisories already in place for various stretches of the Wisconsin River. A complete list of up-to-date consumption advisories can be found in the DNR’s Choose Wisely booklet at www.bit.ly/3rRR82R.

Additional fish consumption advice (www.dnr.wisconsin.gov/topic/Fishing/consumption) and information on the effects of PFAS (www.dnr.wisconsin.gov/topic/PFAS/Impacts.html) can be found on the DNR’s website.

The Lake Mohawksin advisory begins at the Lake Alice Kings Dam, the Jersey City Flowage Dam and the confluence of the Little Somo River and the Somo River. From those points, the advisory applies downstream to Pride Dam at the Tomahawk Mill. Photo courtesy of Wisconsin DNR.
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