Melissa Magstadt, South Dakota Secretary of Health
South Dakota Department of Health

South Dakota Fish Consumption Advisories

Fish and seafood are an important part of a healthy diet. Fish and shellfish, collectively referred to as fish, 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 adults.

Women who are pregnant, might become pregnant, are breastfeeding, and young children should consume fish based on 3 categories:

1) Best Choices
2) Good Choices
3) Fish to Avoid

  • Eat 8-12 ounces (2-3 servings) of a variety of fish a week from the “Best Choices” list OR 1 serving from the “Good Choices” list

    • The “Best Choices” have the lowest levels of mercury

    • A serving for an adult is 4 ounces

  • The “Fish to Avoid” list includes 7 types of fish that typically have higher mercury levels

    • Tilefish from the Gulf of Mexico, shark, swordfish, orange roughy, bigeye tuna, marlin, and king mackerel 

  • For young children, 1-2 servings of fish a week starting at age 2

    • Serving sizes should be smaller and adjusted for age and total calorie needs.

    • A serving for children age 4-7 is 2 ounces

  • When eating fish you or others have caught from streams, rivers, and lakes, pay attention to fish advisories on those water bodies. Please check the table below for species and sizes of fish from South Dakota bodies of water where limited consumption is advised.

    • If advice isn't available, eat only one serving and no other fish that week. 

    • Clean and trim fish of fat and skin, since locally-caught fish may contain contaminants besides mercury that can be reduced by proper trimming and cooking (e.g. broiling instead of frying can reduce some contaminants by letting fat drip away from the fish).

  • Find more detail on this mercury and fish consumption FAQ



Consumption Advisories for South Dakota Rivers and Lakes

Fish from South Dakota lakes and rivers are tested for metals, pesticides, and PCBs as a collaborative effort of the South Dakota Departments of Game, Fish & Parks, Agriculture & Natural Resources, and Health. Please check the table below for species and sizes of fish from South Dakota bodies of water where limited consumption is advised. For a complete table of water bodies tested in South Dakota, visit this Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources website.




County Lake Fish Species
Brookings/Kingsbury Twin Lakes Walleye - 18" & larger
Northern Pike - 19" & larger
Brown Elm Lake Walleye - 25" & larger
Butte Newell Lake
Walleye - 18" & larger
Northern Pike - over 18"

Reid Lake

Swan Lake


Dry #2

Walleye - over 23"

Walleye - over 21"


Walleye - 22" & larger

Codington Long Lake Walleye - over 17"
Corson Pudwell Dam

Walleye -18" & larger

Black Crappie - over 12"


Bitter Lake


Hazeldon Lake

Lake Minnewasta

Lardy Lake

Lynn Lake

Middle Lynn Lake

Walleye - all sizes
Northern Pike - 30" & larger

Walleye -21" & larger

Walleye -18" & larger

Walleye -25" & larger

Walleye -18" & larger

Walleye -18" & larger

Northern Pike - over 26"


Lake Isabel

Little Moreau

Northern Pike - 25" & larger
Largemouth Bass - 17" & larger

Northern Pike - 26" & larger

Kingsbury/Brookings Twin Lakes Walleye - 18" & larger
Northern Pike - 19" & larger
Marshall North & South Buffalo Lake Walleye - 21" & larger
McCook/Minnehaha North Island Lake

Walleye - 18" & larger

Smallmouth Bass - 18" & larger

McPherson Kiesz Lake

Walleye - over 16"


Twin Lakes
Scott Lake

Walleye - all sizes
Walleye - 25" & larger

Pennington New Wall Lake Black and White Crappies - over 13"
Largemouth bass - over 16"
Perkins Coal Springs Reservoir Northern Pike - over 25"
Potter Lake Hurley Largemouth Bass - 18" & larger
Tripp Lake Roosevelt

Largemouth Bass -18" & larger
Northern Pike - over 24"



For more information contact: Aaron Leingang, SD Dept. of Agriculture and Natural Resources, 605-773-3351
John Lott, SD Dept. of Game, Fish & Parks, 605-773-4508 
John Osburn, SD Dept. of Health, 605-394-6064

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