MADISON, Wis. – Based on fish tissue data, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and the Department of Health Services (DHS) are recommending PFAS-based fish consumption advisories for Starkweather Creek and Lake Monona in Dane County.
Recent sampling by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources shows elevated PFOS in fish tissue and surface water in those waterways. PFOS is one of many per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). PFOS detection is the driving force behind establishing the fish consumption advisory for Starkweather Creek and Lake Monona in Dane County.
PFAS are a group of human-made chemicals used for decades in numerous products, including non-stick cookware, fast food wrappers, stain-resistant sprays and certain types of firefighting foam. These legacy contaminants have made their way into the environment in a variety of ways, including spills of PFAS-containing materials, discharges of PFAS-containing wastewater to treatment plants, and certain types of firefighting foams.
The risk of health problems increases with the amount of contaminated fish you eat. Following these advisories will help protect you from excess PFOS exposure and other contaminants found in fish, including mercury and PCBs. The advisories could change in the future as the DNR and DHS continue to learn more about the health risks from eating fish caught from this area and more fish data become available.
As part of the DNR’s PFAS efforts to monitor fish tissue and water chemistry at select sites around the state, surface water samples were collected at four locations in the east and west branches of Starkweather Creek over the summer of 2019, along with fish near the mouth of the creek where it enters Lake Monona. PFAS was detected in samples from all four locations.
In October, additional surface water sampling was conducted at the four original sampling locations as well as 11