Home > Departments > Water

Lake Worth Fish Advisory

The Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) issued a new fish advisory against consuming certain species of fish from Lake Worth.

The advisory was issued on Wednesday, March 7, 2018, after laboratory testing showed unsafe levels of pollutants, including dioxins and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in certain species of fish. The state is recommending people limit or avoid consumption of various species of fish.

Fish and shellfish can accumulate contaminants from the waters in which they live. The state monitors fish for the presence of environmental contaminants and alerts the public through bans and advisories when a threat to human health may occur from the consumption of contaminated fish.

Concentrations of the pollutants in blue catfish, common carp, flathead catfish, freshwater drum, smallmouth buffalo, striped bass and white bass exceed state health guidelines and pose a risk to people who consume them.

Specific recommendations include

  • Don’t consume smallmouth buffalo from these waters.
  • For flathead catfish, adults are advised to limit consumption to one 8-ounce meal per month. Women of childbearing age and children under 12 should not consume flathead catfish.
  • For blue catfish, striped bass, white bass and common carp, adults should limit consumption to two 8-ounce meals per month. Women of childbearing age and children under 12 should limit consumption to one 4-ounce meal per month.
  • For freshwater drum, adults are advised to limit consumption to three 8-ounce meals per month. Children and women of childbearing age should not eat more than one 4-ounce meal per month.

This is an update to the 2010 advisory. Elevated levels of dioxins and PCBs in fish do not pose a health risk for people participating in recreational activities such as swimming or boating.