Unicoi Outfitters is north Georgia's premier guide service and fly fishing outfitter, located on the Chattahoochee River near alpine Helen. Look for fishing reports, gear and book reviews, and general musings here from our staff and guides.

Thursday, April 20, 2023

Fish for Dinner?

While the majority of us on the UO friends list release the fish we catch, plenty of us will still legally harvest a few for an occasional fish dinner.  A common question I’ve fielded for decades is, “are those fish safe to eat?”  

I recently answered an online inquiry and thought I would share my response with y’all. Here’s some solid info to help you decide whether to take home some stockers, crappie, bream, or bass for a fresh fish dinner.

Are GA fish safe to eat? It’s all about your risk, and risk is relative. GADNR (Environmental Protection and Wildlife Resource divisions) helps you assess your risk.  The WRD fishing regulations guide contains fish consumption guidelines for us.  Scroll down this page to find them:


Those recommendations are based upon EPD analysis of fish tissue and assessment of human health risk.  See pages 4-6 in here:


Those EPD guidelines are based on an angler eating fish for 30 years and then increasing their cancer risk by a factor of 1 in 10,000.

Compare that increased risk (1 : 10,000) to your health risk from eating fatty food, smoking, or jaywalking on a busy ATL street for 30 years and it should help put your “fish consumption risk” into proper perspective.

What’s for dinner? I hope this DNR info helps your menu planning!

Unicoi Outfitters: Friendly. Local. Experts.


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