Kim Malsam-Rysdon, Secretary of Health
South Dakota Department of Health

Consumption of Fish and Seafood

Fish and seafood are an important part of a healthy diet. Fish and shellfish contain high-quality protein and other essential nutrients, are low in saturated fat, and contain omega-3 fatty acids. You should eat 8 to 12 ounces of a variety of fish every week from choices that are lower in mercury and high in omega-3 fatty acids. The nutritional value of fish and seafood is important during growth and development before birth, in early infancy for breastfed infants, in childhood, and as adults.


Women who are pregnant, might become pregnant, are breastfeeding and children under age 7 should:


  • Eat 8-12 ounces of a variety of fish a week
    • That's 2 or 3 servings
    • For children under age 7, give them 2 or 3 servings a week with the portion right for their age and calorie needs 
  • Choose fish lower in mercury and high in omega-3 fatty acids
    • Many of the most commonly eaten fish are lower in mercury
    • These include salmon, shrimp, pollock, light canned tuna, tilapia, catfish and cod 
  • Avoid 4 types of commercial fish - tilefish from the Gulf of Mexico, shark, swordfish and king mackerel
    • These 4 types of fish have highest mercury levels
    • Limit white albacore tuna to 6 ounces a week 
  • When eating fish you or others have caught from streams, rivers and lakes, pay attention to fish advisories on those water bodies
    • If advice isn't available, adults should limit such fish to 6 ounces a week, young children 1 to 3 ounces a week, and eat no other fish that week. 
  • When adding more fish to your diet, be sure to stay within your calorie needs.


Consumption Advisories for South Dakota Rivers and Lakes

Fish from South Dakota lakes and rivers are tested for metals, pesticides, and PCB's as a collaborative effort of the South Dakota Departments of Game, Fish & Parks, Environment & Natural Resources, and Health. Please note the interactive map below or check this table for species and sizes of fish to avoid from South Dakota bodies of water. The red triangles indicate bodies of water with consumption advisories and green fish indicate a body of water where fish tested low in mercury and other contaminants. Click on each symbol for details. For a complete table of water bodies tested in South Dakota, visit this Department of Environment and Natural Resources website.



For more information contact: Pat Snyder, SD Department of Environment & Natural Resources, 773-4729
John Lott, SD Department of Game, Fish & Parks, 773-4508 
Bill Chalcraft, SD Department of Health, 773-4945

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