TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - The Arizona Game and Fish Department (AZGFD) and the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) have begun a "Green Light" campaign that highlights the fish species from specific waters that can be eaten without limits.
"This is great news for anglers, and reaffirms what we've known all along – fresh fish from our state's waters are an important part of a healthy diet," said Chris Cantrell, AZGFD aquatics branch chief, in a recent news release. "We encourage all anglers to get out and 'Fish AZ.'"
According to a recent release from AZGFD, the green light list includes all trout and channel catfish, which are supplied for the AZGFD Community Fishing Program. There are 220 waters that are managed by AZGFD that contain trout, making up 40,000 surface acres of lakes and 1,000 miles of rivers or streams.
Both AZGFD and ADEQ have been testing a variety of fish across the state for mercury, the most common contaminant found in edible fish fillets across the U.S. according to the release. They have been able to identify what fish to avoid (red light) and what fish can be eaten in limited quantities (orange light).
Fishermen know about consumption advisories, but this will be the first time in the state that they will know what fish species at various locations can be caught, eaten, and enjoyed with limits.
"ADEQ is excited about our partnership with AZGFD to communicate new 'Green Light Fishery' details with anglers, our communities and Arizona visitors," said Trevor Baggiore, ADEQ Water Quality Division Director, in the news release. "We are especially excited to let our fishing community know they have the green light to eat fish in in Arizona."
See all the green light waters on the ADEQ interactive e-Map, including other waters and fish species classified as "Green Light Fisheries."