Fish consumption advisories provide important information about the amount and types of fish that should not be eaten. Since its inception, the South River Science Team has been working to ensure the public is aware of these advisories. Fish consumption advisories are posted in English and Spanish on billboards at all public access points along the river.

Fish caught in these waters may contain mercury. Mercury may be hazardous to your health. Eating the fish you catch is safe as long as you follow these advisories:

  • South River: No fish, other than trout, should be eaten from these waters. Stocked trout have been tested and are safe to eat.
  • South Fork Shenandoah River: No more than two meals (1/2 pound each or the size of your hand) of fish per month should be eaten from these waters. Women who are pregnant or may become pregnant, nursing mothers, and young children should not eat fish from these waters.


Can I eat trout from the South River?

Yes. These trout were raised in a trout hatchery and are safe to eat.

Can I cook the fish to lower mercury levels?

No. Mercury will stay in the fish no matter how it is cooked.

Should I just stop eating fish?

No! Fish are one of the healthiest sources of protein because they are low in saturated fat, the type of fat associated with clogged arteries and heart disease. Just be sure to know and follow the advisory in the area you are fishing.

Where can I learn more?

Call the Virginia Department of Health at (540) 332-7830 or click here.