Maine CDC Issues Additional Advisories on Eating Freshwater Fish Due to PFAS Contamination

AUGUSTA - The Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention (Maine CDC) today issued updated and additional freshwater fish consumption advisories, recommending limiting consumption of all fish or certain fish from six waterbodies in Maine. Two of the advisories are expansions of those issued last year for seven waterbodies, while four bodies of water are new additions to the list, which now totals 11. These updated advisories come after testing of fish in these locations found levels of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, known as PFAS, above Maine CDC's recommended levels for regular consumption.

Elevated levels of the PFAS called perfluorooctane sulfonic acid (PFOS) were detected in fish samples from Limestone Stream below the dam near Route 229 in Limestone, Kennebec River between Hinkley and Fairfield, Number One Pond on Mousam River in Sanford, Halfmoon Stream in Thorndike, Fifteenmile Stream in Albion, and China Lake.

The updated fish consumption advisories apply to game fish caught in these waterbodies:

Area Waterbody Consumption Advisory
Albion Fifteenmile Stream from the Yorktown Brook inlet at the Hussey Road to Route 137/202 in Albion. Consume no more than 2 meals per month of brook trout.
China All of China Lake. Consume no more than 1 meal per month of any fish species.
Fairfield Kennebec River from the Carrabassett Stream inlet just North of Route 23 to the Lockwood Dam in Waterville. Consume no more than 9 meals per year of smallmouth bass.
Limestone All of Durepo Pond and Limestone Stream from Durepo to the Canadian Border. Consume no more than 4 meals per year of brook trout and do not eat smallmouth bass.
Sanford All of Number One Pond. Consume no more than 1 meal per month of largemouth bass.
Thorndike Halfmoon Stream from the Shikles Road in Thorndike to the Berry Road in Unity near the confluence with Sandy Stream. Consume no more than 2 meals per month of brook trout.
*Bolded entries indicate extensions of advisories issued in 2022.

"This update and expansion of Maine’s fish consumption advisories is based on the latest science about the health impacts of PFAS," said Nancy Beardsley, Acting Director of the Maine CDC. “These advisories are designed to support the health of Maine anglers, their families and friends, and everyone who enjoys eating freshwater fish from these bodies of water.”

“There are over 360,000 anglers who are licensed to fish in Maine, and they enjoy fishing on over 32,000 miles of rivers and streams, and 6,000 lakes and ponds” said Judy Camuso, Commissioner of the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (MDIFW). “This revised advisory for 11 waterbodies will help anglers make informed decisions when they choose to have a meal of freshwater fish.”

Fishing in these specific waterbodies remains a safe activity, in accordance with the consumption advisories, along with other recreational activities such as swimming, wading, and boating. The Maine CDC recommends that anglers review all existing fish consumption advisories for Maine waters.

The Maine Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) collected and tested fish from these waterbodies for PFAS because they are located where historical PFAS contamination has been found in groundwater, surface water, and/or soils. The testing this year included testing of new waterbodies and expanded testing of waterbodies already under consumption advisories.

Maine CDC continually consults with Maine’s DEP and MDIFW to develop plans for additional sampling of fish as part of the State’s ongoing investigation of PFAS.

PFAS are a group of man-made chemicals found in a variety of consumer products throughout the world. Based on a new report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, exposure to certain PFAS chemicals has been associated with changes in liver and kidney function, changes in cholesterol levels, decreased immune response to vaccines in children, complications during pregnancy, increased risk of kidney cancer and possibly testicular cancer.

The Mills Administration has taken an aggressive, nation-leading approach to addressing PFAS contamination in Maine. Under Governor Mills’ leadership, Maine established a PFAS Task Force and has taken action to address PFAS contamination, including:

  • securing $30 million for PFAS remediation, which includes $10 million to help farmers impacted by PFAS, $15 million to provide safe drinking water, $5 million for environmental testing, and $5 million for managing PFAS-contaminated waste;
  • securing $5 million to address PFAS through the Maine Jobs and Recovery Plan;
  • securing $9.3 million to address PFAS through the supplemental budget;
  • securing $60 million to create a PFAS Trust Fund
  • establishing screening levels for PFAS in soil, wastewater, fish tissue and milk, and;
  • establishing drinking water standards for PFAS;
  • establishing containment and reporting requirements for firefighting foam containing PFAS;
  • installing more than 200 drinking water treatment systems;
  • establishing wastewater sludge testing requirements and eliminating land spreading of PFAS contaminated sludge;
  • expanding the statute of limitations for Maine citizens to file claims for PFAS contamination.

For more information about the fish consumption advisories and PFAS, please go to: