MADISON, Wis. — The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources and the Department of Health Services issued a fish consumption advisory for several southern Wisconsin lakes along the Yahara Chain waters on Wednesday. 

What You Need To Know

  • Four lakes and a long stretch of river south of Madison on the advisory

  • Eating fish at a high enough rate can cause elevated PFAS levels in humans

  • State agencies working to put up signage warning anglers

The Wisconsin DNR has been looking into PFAS contamination in the water chain since 2019, and has found it in waterways and some fish tissue previously. Before Wednesday, a fish advisory existed on Lake Monona, but now that has been expanded to Lake Waubesa, Mud Lake, and Lake Kegonsa, as well as the Yahara River in southern Dane County and Northern Rock County. 

Lake Waubesa is a popular fishing area.

The DNR and DHS are recommending the consumption of one meal per month for Crappie, Largemouth bass, Northern pike and Walleye. The agencies are also recommending the consumption of one meal per week for Bluegill, Pumpkinseed and Yellow perch.

The agencies say they are working with local public health agencies to put signage near the impacted waters and they have updated the online listing of consumption advisories. 

Advisory map courtesy Wisconsin DNR.

PFAS are a harmful manmade set of chemicals found in things like firefighting foam, nonstick pans and paper food wrappings. They do not easily break down in the environment or human bodies. They an cause harmful health impacts like some cancers. 

The Wisconsin DNR has released a statewide action plan to address PFAS contamination that could include legal action against known contaminators.