While the trout stocked annually in our local ponds by the Department of Environmental Management is safe, most other fish caught in those waters should be eaten only with caution.
Due to mercury contamination, the RI Department of Health advises pregnant women to avoid eating any freshwater fish in
except stocked trout. Rhode Island
RIDEM’s 2012 guide to
Island freshwater fishing (click here to read the whole guidebook) suggests
you avoid eating those fish that tend to collect the highest concentrations of
mercury – bass, pike and pickerel.
They suggest limiting your consumption of black crappie and eel to once a month:
For Watchaug Pond, RIDEM says to limit consumption of any fish (except stocked trout) to once a month.
There are more fishing precaution notices on page 8 of the RIDEM guidebook.
I’m sure that once the Y-Gate transaction is completed, Watchaug Pond will be immediately transformed into a fishing wonderland when we see the Charlestown Land Trust remove all the old septic systems, derelict buildings and other pollution sources from the Westerly YMCA’s abandoned campground.