Fish Consumption Patterns along the Upper Chattahoochee River
Meyer, Judy L.
Holmbeck-Pelham, Skelly A.
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Anglers utilize the Chattahoochee River for both recreational fishing and fishing to supplement their family’s diet. Along the mainstem of the Chattahoochee River, individuals are fishing in areas that are under fish consumption guidelines for PCBs and mercury. The anglers are either choosing to ignore the fish consumption guidelines or are unaware that these guidelines exist. The reach of the river between Peachtree Creek and Hwy 27 in Franklin is of particular interest since it is receiving inputs from the metropolitan Atlanta area. Ninety-two surveys were taken from 1999 through 2002 from anglers found fishing along the mainstem of the Chattahoochee River. Information regarding the age and ethnicity of anglers, frequency of fishing, types of fish caught, and consumption of catches was collected from participants. Fifty percent of the anglers interviewed were African American, 36% Caucasian, 11% Hispanic, and 3% Asian. Minority anglers were twice as likely to consume fish than non-minority anglers. Based on these findings, the authors recommend that warnings be posted in English and Spanish and local community education be implemented.