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Can We Eat Lake Simcoe Fish?

The short answer is YES! Fish from Lake Simcoe are safe to eat. But, it should be noted that contaminant levels vary based on fish species and fish sizes. The Ministry of Environment has come out with a guide to "Eating Ontario Sport Fish". It contains an extensive list of lakes in Ontario, the fish species present and the recommended intake of fish per month. On this page, you will find the Guide for Lake Simcoe and the recommended monthly intake of fish for many of the species present in the lake.

Based on Ontario’s sport fish contaminant monitoring data used in the Guide to Eating Ontario Sport Fish, levels of contaminants such as PCBs, DDT, and dioxins and furans in sport fish (e.g., lake trout, walleye and whitefish) have decreased or remained stable over the last 10 to 15 years. 

Levels of these contaminants in Lake Simcoe fish are generally equal to or lower than levels found in Great Lakes fish. However, mercury levels in whitefish from Lake Simcoe have actually increased slightly, possibly due to changes in lake food web structure. 
 
Below is an Advisory table taken directly from Map: Guide to eating Ontario Fish from the Ontario.ca website specifically for common sport fish species for Lake Simcoe. The table outlines the maximum number of meals per month (average meal is 227 grams per adult) recommended for each species/size range indicated below. 

 

Black Crappie1

Length (cm) →
15‑20
20‑25
25‑30
30‑35
35‑40
40‑45
45‑50
50‑55
55‑60
60‑65
65‑70
70‑75
>75
Length (in) →
6‑8
8‑10
10‑12
12‑14
14‑16
16‑18
18‑20
20‑22
22‑24
24‑26
26‑28
28‑30
>30
General population
32
32
32
16
Sensitive population*
32
16
16
8

More information about the Black Crappie

*Sensitive Population: Women of child-bearing age and children under 15.

Superscripts: the number identifies the contaminant or group of contaminants which are causing consumption restrictions.

Cisco(Lake Herring)1, 2

Length (cm) →
15‑20
20‑25
25‑30
30‑35
35‑40
40‑45
45‑50
50‑55
55‑60
60‑65
65‑70
70‑75
>75
Length (in) →
6‑8
8‑10
10‑12
12‑14
14‑16
16‑18
18‑20
20‑22
22‑24
24‑26
26‑28
28‑30
>30
General population
32
32
32
32
12
12
Sensitive population*
16
16
16
12
12
12

More information about the Cisco(Lake Herring)

*Sensitive Population: Women of child-bearing age and children under 15.

Superscripts: the number identifies the contaminant or group of contaminants which are causing consumption restrictions.

Lake Trout1, 2, 3

Length (cm) →
15‑20
20‑25
25‑30
30‑35
35‑40
40‑45
45‑50
50‑55
55‑60
60‑65
65‑70
70‑75
>75
Length (in) →
6‑8
8‑10
10‑12
12‑14
14‑16
16‑18
18‑20
20‑22
22‑24
24‑26
26‑28
28‑30
>30
General population
32
32
32
16
12
12
8
4
2
2
1
0
Sensitive population*
32
32
16
16
12
12
8
4
0
0
0
0

More information about the Lake Trout

*Sensitive Population: Women of child-bearing age and children under 15.

Superscripts: the number identifies the contaminant or group of contaminants which are causing consumption restrictions.

Lake Whitefish2

Length (cm) →
15‑20
20‑25
25‑30
30‑35
35‑40
40‑45
45‑50
50‑55
55‑60
60‑65
65‑70
70‑75
>75
Length (in) →
6‑8
8‑10
10‑12
12‑14
14‑16
16‑18
18‑20
20‑22
22‑24
24‑26
26‑28
28‑30
>30
General population
32
32
32
32
16
12
4
4
4
4
Sensitive population*
32
32
32
32
16
12
4
4
4
4

More information about the Lake Whitefish

*Sensitive Population: Women of child-bearing age and children under 15.

Superscripts: the number identifies the contaminant or group of contaminants which are causing consumption restrictions.

Ling (Burbot)1

Length (cm) →
15‑20
20‑25
25‑30
30‑35
35‑40
40‑45
45‑50
50‑55
55‑60
60‑65
65‑70
70‑75
>75
Length (in) →
6‑8
8‑10
10‑12
12‑14
14‑16
16‑18
18‑20
20‑22
22‑24
24‑26
26‑28
28‑30
>30
General population
16
16
16
12
12
4
Sensitive population*
8
8
4
4
4
0

More information about the Ling (Burbot)

*Sensitive Population: Women of child-bearing age and children under 15.

Superscripts: the number identifies the contaminant or group of contaminants which are causing consumption restrictions.

Northern Pike1

Length (cm) →
15‑20
20‑25
25‑30
30‑35
35‑40
40‑45
45‑50
50‑55
55‑60
60‑65
65‑70
70‑75
>75
Length (in) →
6‑8
8‑10
10‑12
12‑14
14‑16
16‑18
18‑20
20‑22
22‑24
24‑26
26‑28
28‑30
>30
General population
32
32
32
32
32
16
16
16
16
8
Sensitive population*
32
16
16
16
12
8
8
8
4
0

More information about the Northern Pike

*Sensitive Population: Women of child-bearing age and children under 15.

Superscripts: the number identifies the contaminant or group of contaminants which are causing consumption restrictions.


Rainbow Smelt2

Length (cm) →
15‑20
20‑25
25‑30
30‑35
35‑40
40‑45
45‑50
50‑55
55‑60
60‑65
65‑70
70‑75
>75
Length (in) →
6‑8
8‑10
10‑12
12‑14
14‑16
16‑18
18‑20
20‑22
22‑24
24‑26
26‑28
28‑30
>30
General population
8
Sensitive population*
8

More information about the Rainbow Smelt

*Sensitive Population: Women of child-bearing age and children under 15.

Superscripts: the number identifies the contaminant or group of contaminants which are causing consumption restrictions.

Smallmouth Bass1, 2

Length (cm) →
15‑20
20‑25
25‑30
30‑35
35‑40
40‑45
45‑50
50‑55
55‑60
60‑65
65‑70
70‑75
>75
Length (in) →
6‑8
8‑10
10‑12
12‑14
14‑16
16‑18
18‑20
20‑22
22‑24
24‑26
26‑28
28‑30
>30
General population
12
12
12
12
12
12
8
8
Sensitive population*
12
12
12
12
8
4
4
0

More information about the Smallmouth Bass

*Sensitive Population: Women of child-bearing age and children under 15.

Superscripts: the number identifies the contaminant or group of contaminants which are causing consumption restrictions.

Walleye1, 2

Length (cm) →
15‑20
20‑25
25‑30
30‑35
35‑40
40‑45
45‑50
50‑55
55‑60
60‑65
65‑70
70‑75
>75
Length (in) →
6‑8
8‑10
10‑12
12‑14
14‑16
16‑18
18‑20
20‑22
22‑24
24‑26
26‑28
28‑30
>30
General population
12
12
12
12
12
8
8
4
4
0
Sensitive population*
12
12
8
4
4
4
0
0
0
0

More information about the Walleye

*Sensitive Population: Women of child-bearing age and children under 15.

Superscripts: the number identifies the contaminant or group of contaminants which are causing consumption restrictions.

Yellow Perch1

Length (cm) →
15‑20
20‑25
25‑30
30‑35
35‑40
40‑45
45‑50
50‑55
55‑60
60‑65
65‑70
70‑75
>75
Length (in) →
6‑8
8‑10
10‑12
12‑14
14‑16
16‑18
18‑20
20‑22
22‑24
24‑26
26‑28
28‑30
>30
General population
32
32
16
16
Sensitive population*
16
12
8
8



 

Please check out the FULL interactive Map for Eating Ontario Fish below:




 
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