Many District residents use the District’s waterways--the Anacostia and Potomac Rivers, Rock Creek, and their many tributaries--for recreational, boating, and angling pleasure. Some anglers rely on the fish caught in these waters for food. To protect public health, the District of Columbia Government routinely samples common game fish for contaminants regularly found in US waters. If contaminant concentrations are found to be above levels established by the EPA and therefore may be unfit for human consumption, then a public health or fish consumption advisory may be issued. If an advisory is issued, anglers are still encouraged to fish the District waters but are discouraged from consuming the fish species identified in the advisory. Please do not consume or share your catch before consulting the advisory as printed on the back of District fishing licenses, or online at doee.dc.gov/service/fishing-district.
Catching and handling fish that may be contaminated poses zero risk to the angler. Commercial fishing is prohibited in the District, so the advisory pertains only to fish caught recreationally. It does not apply to fish sold in fish markets, grocery stores, and restaurants. The Advisory pertains to all portions of the Anacostia and Potomac Rivers within the District’s boundaries.