2013 - 2014
Outdoor Annual
The 2014-2015 hunting season dates are now available. Download the PDF »

Fish Consumption Bans and Advisories

Fish and shellfish can accumulate contaminants from the waters in which they live. The Texas Department of State Health Services (TDSHS) monitors fish for the presence of environmental contaminants and alerts the public through bans (closures) and advisories when a threat to human health may occur from the consumption of contaminated fish. In waters with consumption bans, possession and consumption of fish and/or shellfish is prohibited. A consumption advisory is a recommendation to limit consumption to specified quantities, species and sizes of fish. For more information, visit the TDSHS website or call the TDSHS at (800) 685-0361 (shellfish) or (512) 834-6757 (fish).

Consumption Bans

The possession of all species of fish and crabs is prohibited from the following areas. Catch and release of fish and crabs from these areas is lawful. For maps and details on these bans, see the TDSHS Listing of Waterbodies with Possession Bans.

  • Portions of upper Lavaca Bay in Calhoun County
  • The Donna Irrigation System in Hidalgo County
  • Echo Lake in Tarrant County

Saltwater Consumption Advisories

Update March 28, 2014: The Texas Department of State Health Services has issued a Fish and Shellfish Consumption Advisory for the Texas City Y oil spill. This advisory recommends that people not consume fish, shrimp or crabs from areas where oil is present. Visit the TDSHS website for details and a map of the advisory area.

TDSHS recommends limiting consumption of certain fish in these areas as indicated below. For area maps and details on these advisories, see the TDSHS Listing of Waterbodies with Advisories.

Louisiana Border

Questions & Answers

Sabine Lake and contiguous Texas waters in Jefferson and Orange counties

Chemical of Concern:
Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs)
  • For gafftopsail catfish, adults should limit consumption to no more than three 8-ounce meals per month.
  • Children under 12 and women who are pregnant, nursing or may become pregnant should limit consumption to no more than one 4-ounce meal per month

Houston/Galveston Area

Questions & Answers

Clear Creek in Brazoria, Fort Bend, Galveston and Harris counties

Chemical of Concern:
Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs)
  • Persons should not consume any species of fish from these waters.

Houston Ship Channel and all contiguous waters north of the Fred Hartman Bridge, State Highway 146 including the San Jacinto River below the Lake Houston dam

Chemicals of Concern:
Dioxins, Organochlorine pesticides, Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs)
  • For all species of fish and blue crabs, adults should limit consumption to no more than one, 8-ounce meal per month.
  • Women of childbearing age and children under 12 should not consume any fish or blue crabs from this area.

Upper Galveston Bay and all contiguous waters north of a line drawn from Red Bluff Point to Five-Mile Cut Marker to Houston Point

Chemicals of Concern:
Dioxins and Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs)
  • For all species of catfish, spotted seatrout and blue crab, adults should limit consumption to no more than one, 8-ounce meal per month.
  • Children under 12 and women of childbearing age should not consume spotted seatrout, blue crabs or any catfish species from this area.

Galveston Bay and all contiguous waters including Chocolate Bay, East Bay, Trinity Bay and West Bay

Chemicals of Concern:
Dioxins and Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs)
  • For all species of catfish, adults should limit consumption to no more than one, 8-ounce meal per month.
  • Children, and women who are nursing, pregnant or who may become pregnant should not consume catfish from these waters.

Gulf of Mexico

REVISED: All Texas Coastal Waters

Chemical of Concern:
Mercury
  • Blue marlin of any length should not be consumed.
  • For blackfin tuna, little tunny, crevalle jack, swordfish, wahoo and all species of sharks:
    • Adult men and women who are past childbearing age should limit consumption to two, 8-ounce meals per month.
    • Children under 12 and women of childbearing age should not consume these species.
  • For king mackerel:
    • For specimens less than 35 inches in total length, adult men and women who are past childbearing age should limit consumption to one 8-ounce meal per week.
    • For fish more than 35 inches, adult men and women past childbearing age should limit consumption to two, 8-ounce meals per month.
    • Children under 12 and women of childbearing age should not consume any king mackerel from Texas coastal waters.

Flower Garden Banks

Freshwater Consumption Advisories

TDSHS recommends limiting consumption of certain fish in these areas as indicated below. For area maps and details on these advisories, see the TDSHS Listing of Waterbodies with Advisories.

South Texas

Lower Leon Creek in San Antonio, Bexar County

Chemical of Concern:
Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs)
  • Persons should not consume any species of fish from Leon Creek starting at the Old US 90 bridge downstream to the Loop 410 bridge.

Valley (Harlingen/McAllen Area)

Arroyo Colorado, Llano Grande Lake and the Main Floodway upstream of the Port of Harlingen in Cameron and Hidalgo counties

Chemicals of Concern:
Mercury, DDE and PCBs
  • Persons should not consume longnose gar and smallmouth buffalo from these waters

Central Texas

Canyon Lake in Comal County

Chemical of Concern:
Mercury
  • For striped bass and longnose gar, adults and children 12 and older are advised to eat no more than two 8-ounce servings per month. Children under 12 should eat no more than two 4-ounce servings per month.
  • Pregnant women, women who could become pregnant and mothers who are breastfeeding are advised not to eat any striped bass or longnose gar from the lake.

Northeast/Southeast Texas

REVISED: Neches River and all contiguous waters from State Highway 7 bridge west of Lufkin downstream to the US 96 bridge near Evadale, including B.A. Steinhagen and Sam Rayburn reservoirs. Affected waters are in Angelina, Hardin, Houston, Jasper, Nacogdoches, Polk, Sabine, San Augustine, Trinity and Tyler counties.

Chemical of Concern:
Dioxins, Mercury

Adults should limit consumption of certain fish species as indicated below. Women of childbearing age and children under 12 should not consume the indicated fishes from these waters.

  • Smallmouth buffalo: Do not eat.
  • Flathead catfish and gar: no more than one 8-ounce serving per month.
  • Blue catfish over 30 inches long, largemouth bass over 16 inches and spotted bass over 16 inches: no more than two 8-ounce servings per month.

Lake Madisonville in Madison County

Chemical of Concern:
Mercury
  • For largemouth bass, adults should limit consumption to no more than two, 8-ounce servings per month, and children under 12 years old should limit consumption to no more than two, 4-ounce servings per month.
  • Women who are nursing, pregnant or who may become pregnant should not consume largemouth bass from this lake.

Clear Lake in Panola County

Chemical of Concern:
Mercury
  • For largemouth bass, freshwater drum and bowfin, adults should limit consumption to no more than two, 8-ounce meals per month, and children under 12 years of age should limit consumption to no more than two, 4-ounce meals per month.
  • Women of childbearing age who are or might become pregnant, or who are nursing should not consume largemouth bass, freshwater drum or bowfin from this lake.

Hills Lake in Panola County

Chemical of Concern:
Mercury
  • For largemouth bass and freshwater drum, adults should limit consumption to no more than two, 8-ounce meals per month, and children under 12 years of age should limit consumption to no more than two, 4-ounce meals per month.
  • Women of childbearing age who are or might become pregnant, or who are nursing should not consume largemouth bass or freshwater drum from this lake.

Big Cypress Creek in Marion County; Caddo Lake in Harrison and Marion counties; and Toledo Bend Reservoir in Newton, Panola, Sabine and Shelby counties

Chemical of Concern:
Mercury
  • All Locations: For largemouth bass and freshwater drum, adults should limit consumption to no more than two, 8-ounce meals per month, and children should limit consumption to no more than two, 4-ounce meals per month.

Village Creek in Hardin County

Chemical of Concern:
Mercury
  • For crappie, gar and largemouth bass, adults should limit consumption to no more than two eight ounce meals per month.
  • Children under twelve years old should limit consumption of crappie, gar and largemouth bass to no more than two four ounce meals per month.
  • Women who are nursing, pregnant or who may become pregnant should not consume crappie, gar and largemouth bass from Village Creek.

Lake Kimball in Hardin and Tyler counties and Lake Pruitt (Black Cypress Creek) in Cass County

Chemical of Concern:
Mercury
  • For all species of fish, adults should limit consumption to no more than two, 8-ounce meals per month, and children under 12 years of age should limit consumption to no more than two, 4-ounce meals per month.

Lone Star Lake (aka Ellison Creek Reservoir) in Morris County

Chemicals of Concern:
PCBs
  • Persons should not consume any species of fish from this reservoir.

Lake Daingerfield in Morris County and Lake Ratcliff in Houston County

Chemical of Concern:
Mercury
  • For largemouth bass, adults should limit consumption to no more than two, 8-ounce meals per month, and children should limit consumption to no more than two, 4-ounce meals per month.

Panhandle

Lake Alan Henry in Garza and Kent counties

Chemical of Concern:
Mercury
  • For blue catfish, flathead catfish, crappie, largemouth bass and spotted bass, adults should limit consumption to no more than two, 8-ounce meals per month.
  • Children under 12 and women who are pregnant or nursing should not consume any fish of those species.

Lake Meredith in Hutchinson, Moore and Potter counties

Chemical of Concern:
Mercury
  • For walleye, adults should limit consumption to no more than two, 8-ounce meals per month, and children should limit consumption to no more than two, 4-ounce meals per month.

Dallas/Fort Worth Area

Mountain Creek Lake in Dallas County

Chemicals of Concern:
Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and dioxins
  • Persons should not consume any species of fish from these waters.

Lake Worth in Tarrant County

Chemicals of Concern:
Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), aldrin, dieldrin
  • Persons should not consume blue catfish, channel catfish or smallmouth buffalo from these waters.
  • This replaces a previous advisory issued in 2000. See details.

Fosdic Lake in Tarrant County

Chemicals of Concern:
Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs)
  • For common carp, adults and children 12 and older should eat no more than two 8-ounce servings per month.
  • Children under 12 should eat no more than two 4-ounce servings per month.
  • Women who are or might become pregnant and women who are nursing should not eat any common carp from the lake.

Clear Fork of Trinity River from Benbrook Reservoir dam and West Fork from Lake Worth dam, including main stem of the Trinity downstream to US 287 bridge. Portions of Anderson, Dallas, Ellis, Freestone, Henderson, Kaufman, Navarro and Tarrant counties.

Chemicals of Concern:
Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), Dioxins
  • Persons should not consume any species of fish from these waters.

Houston/Galveston Area

Lake Isabell in Harris County

Chemical of Concern:
Mercury
  • Adults should limit consumption of largemouth bass to no more than two 8-ounce servings per month.
  • Children under 12 years old should limit consumption to no more than two 4-ounce servings per month.
  • Women who are nursing, pregnant or who may become pregnant should not consume largemouth bass from Lake Isabell.

Clear Creek in Brazoria, Fort Bend, Galveston and Harris counties

Chemical of Concern:
Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs)
  • Persons should not consume any species of fish from these waters.

Back to Top
Back to Top