DHEC releases fishing advisories for S.C. waters

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News 12 Six O'Clock / July 14, 2014

CLARKS HILL, S.C. (WRDW) -- With no shortage of waterways in the area, fishing is a way of life. But your catch of the day may not be as safe as you think.

Keith Remkus mostly fishes at Clark's Hill lake. When it comes to the fish he catches, he says," I eat them all the time."

DHEC just released a warning against eating more than one largemouth bass a week out of Clark's Hill Lake water in the area, something William Sasser thinks a lot of people will ignore.

He tells us, "Old timers and old people, they're going to eat what they're going to eat, pretty much."

While there's only one fish advisory for Clark's Hill, it's a different story for other ponds and rivers.

DHEC tests fish in different waterways for contaminants like mercury. Over time, enough build up could cause health problems like cancer.

If you are worried about eating contaminated fish, there are a few things you can do. Try eating smaller fish. The longer the fish lives the more chance it has to get all types of problems. It's also a good idea to eat different types of fish. Bottom feeders and predators like catfish and bass can build up more contaminants than others.

Also, if you trim the fat and avoid eating the skin, you will avoid a lot of potential contamination.

Robby Nelson catches catfish with his bare hands while noodling on the river.

He says, "Basically, you go down and try to figure out where catfish are under rocks or under concrete slabs and just go under there and pull them out."

He has caught some that are twenty-five to seventy pounds. Robbie wasn't aware of all the fish advisories in the area, and he's willing to bet the average person out fishing isn't either.

He tells us, " I very seriously doubt that they know about it, I mean you can go and fish out of the Lock and dam see 20 people lines up and everybody's got fish in their buckets. The only reason why they'd be keeping them is to take them home and eat them."

Here's a link to DHEC's fishing advisories for South Carolina.

Georgia expects to post theirs in the next two weeks.

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