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.
An Advisory table can be found at 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.
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