NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation announced a precautionary fish consumption advisory Monday due to polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) on the Cheatham Reservoir in Davidson County.
According to a release, TDEC collected fish from Cheatham Reservoir at Shelby Street and Bordeaux Bridges in 2020 and 2021. Based on the fish tissue results, a precautionary fish consumption advisory is being issued for black bass (largemouth, spotted, and smallmouth) and catfish species, according to the TDEC.
Pregnant women, nursing mothers, and children are advised to avoid eating the black bass and catfish species included in the advisory and all others should limit consumption to one meal per month. TDEC reported recreational activities such as boating, kayaking, swimming, wading, and catch and release fishing carry no risk.
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“We provide these advisories so the community can make informed decisions about whether or not to consume the fish they catch,” said TDEC Deputy Commissioner Greg Young. “Unlike ‘do not consume’ advisories that warn the general population to avoid eating fish from a particular body of water altogether, precautionary fish consumption advisories are specifically directed to sensitive populations such as children, pregnant women, nursing mothers and those who may eat fish frequently from the same body of water.”
The TDEC said the studies showed the bass and catfish species significantly exceed Tennessee’s trigger point of .047 mg/kg for PCBs. The precautionary advisory extends from the Briley Parkway bridge crossing in Pennington Bend downstream to Briley Parkway (Andrew B. Gibson Bridge) in Cockrill Bend.
An additional precautionary fish consumption advisory was also issued for the Center Hill Reservoir in Dekalb and Putnam counties for black bass species (largemouth, spotted, and smallmouth bass) in the reservoir.
The fish studied from Center Hill showed black bass species mercury levels were above the trigger of 0.3 mg/kg (parts per million).
TDEC considers the source of mercury in Center Hill Reservoir to be atmospheric deposition. According to the EPA, atmospheric deposition due to the global burning of coal is the most frequent reason for elevated levels of mercury in fish.
TDEC will post warning signs at primary public access points.