Don’t eat the fish in Angelo Pond, just northeast of Sparta.
That’s basically the warning from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and the Department of Health Services (DHS).
The two departments jointly announced Wednesday a new PFAS-based consumption advisory for bluegill, crappie, largemouth bass and northern pike from the Monroe County pond, based on fish sampling.
Elevated levels of PFOS (perfluorooctane sulfonate) — a type of PFAS (per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances) — were found in several fish species sampled from the pond, a 53-acre impoundment of the La Crosse River in May of 2021.
As a result, the DNR and DHS recommend the following consumption guidelines for bluegill, crappie, largemouth bass, and northern pike harvested from the La Crosse River at Angelo Pond:
In April 2021, the DNR and DHS issued a consumption advisory of 1 meal/month for brook and brown trout caught in Silver Creek, which flows into Angelo Pond. Sampling efforts continue in consultation with Fort McCoy due to results of elevated PFAS surface water samples received from Silver Creek in 2019.
PFAS are a group of human-made chemicals that have been used for decades in various products, such as non-stick cookware, fast food wrappers, stain-resistant sprays and certain types of firefighting foams that have made their way into the environment.
Health risks may increase when fish with high levels of PFAS are consumed. These can include increased cholesterol levels, decreased immune response, and decreased fertility in women, among other health effects. More information is available on the DHS website.
Following fish consumption advisories will help protect you from consuming excess PFOS, Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs) and mercury. A complete list of up-to-date consumption advisories can be found in the DNR’s Choose Wisely booklet.