Summer officially kicks off on June 21 and of course, it's the perfect time to go fishing in Lake Erie. But are the fish safe to consume? With food prices skyrocketing, it might be tempting to 'hunt' for your own food by fishing in the lake. Plus, if you're trying to get your summer bod in order, fish is often considered a healthier 'meat' option.

Fishing is fun and fish are an important part of a healthy diet. Fish contain high quality protein, essential nutrients, healthy fish oils, and are low in saturated fat. However, some fish contain chemicals at levels that may be harmful to health. To help people make healthier choices about which fish they eat, the New York State Department of Health issues advice about eating sportfish (fish you catch).

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Carol Snyder of Northwood, Ohio holds up a jar with water collected from Lake Erie at Maumee Bay State Park August 4, 2014 in Oregon, Ohio. Toledo, Ohio area residents were once again able to drink tap water after a two day ban due to algae related toxins. (Photo by Aaron P. Bernstein/Getty Images)
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There are some places around Lake Erie that have been or are currently used for industry, potentially leaching chemicals into the Great Lake's water. So, before you fry up your catch, New York State offers advice on eating fish from Lake Erie.

Fish from waters that are close to industrial sources are more likely to be contaminated than fish from other waters. In the Western Region, Lake Erie fish are generally less contaminated than Lake Ontario fish. This is because Lake Ontario has been more affected by certain industrial chemicals.

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Women under the age of 50, who are able to have children, and youth under the age of 15 are advised to limit how much fish they consume because they are more sensitive to any potential chemicals.

The primary chemicals of concern in the Western Region are PCBs, dioxin and mirex. These chemicals build up in your body over time.

Below are the fish that can be found in Lake Erie and how frequently they can safely be consumed:

New York Department of Health
New York Department of Health
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