Hook, Line and Sinker!
The hooks and lines have been in the water for a couple weeks now and spring fishing is in full swing. The Mid-Atlantic Region has some of the greatest fishing in America and if you haven’t been out to try your luck with a rod and reel, then you are missing out. Fishing is an excellent way to relax, experience nature and even catch yourself a meal!
Each state has a great website on fishing. You can visit them below to learn more about the species of fish, get fishing reports, learn about different fishing seasons and how to obtain a fishing license.
Pennsylvania has over 86,000 miles of streams and rivers! Visit the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission for more information on where to catch the whopper near you!
Did you know you can fish for over 40 species of freshwater and saltwater fish as well as 5 different shellfish in Maryland? Visit the Maryland Department of Natural Resources web site for even more useful information!
In 1975 there were over 11,000 resident Delaware state fishing licenses sold. In, 2008 the number grew to over 45,000. Fishing is alive and well in the “First State.” Visit the Delaware Division of Fish and Wildlife for more information.
Just last year the new state record Yellow Perch was caught in West Virginia. This proves that monster fish are still roaming West Virginia water bodies. Visit West Virginia DNR Wildlife Resources for more information.
More than 800,000 fishermen make Virginia a destination for fishing every year. That generates over $1.3 billion in revenue for the state! Visit the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries for more information.
Keeping your catch and cooking it is a favorite for many fishermen. Many of the species you can catch in the Mid-Atlantic Region are tasty to eat and, because they are packed with low-calorie protein, they are very healthy for you as well.
One aspect you need to be aware of when eating wild or locally caught fish is the chance of contaminants being present in the fish. Pollutants like mercury or PCBs can build up in the fish’s tissue. These pollutants lie in the sediment of a water body and are passed to fish up through the food chain. At certain levels these contaminants can be harmful to humans who consume the fish.
So what do you need to know about eating locally caught or wild fish? The first thing is that many water bodies have already-in-place Fish Consumption Advisories. These are guides that notify people of how much of a certain species of fish they can safely eat, normally over a month’s or a year’s time. You can visit the EPA Fish Advisory main page to learn more.
Each state publishes its own information on Fish Advisories. Visit the states you are interested in below to learn more!
Have any favorite recipes for fish? Know of any great fishing holes? Share your thoughts on our comments page!
Editor's Note: The opinions expressed in Greenversations are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.