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Green light, go fish: “Green Light” list of fish to eat without restrictions, including all trout, released

Posted September 21, 2017

PHOENIX – Arizona anglers have a ton of “Green Light” reasons to keep catching and cooking fresh fish.

For the first time, the Arizona Game and Fish Department (AZGFD) and Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) have launched an initiative to highlight a “green light” list of fish species from specific waters that may be consumed without limits.

The list — which is not to be confused with bag limits — includes all trout statewide. Arizona has a total of 220 waters that AZGFD manages for trout, making up approximately 40,000 surface acres of lakes and 1,000 miles of rivers or streams.

These “Green Light Fisheries” also include channel catfish supplied for the AZGFD Community Fishing Program.

See all the green light waters on the ADEQ interactive e-Map, including other waters and fish species classified as “Green Light Fisheries.” Notable green light fisheries include largemouth bass at Lake Havasu, as well as flathead catfish and largemouth bass on the Colorado River in Yuma.

AZGFD and ADEQ have been testing a wide variety of fish throughout the state for mercury, the most common contaminant found in edible fish fillets nationwide. This testing has identified fish to avoid (red light) and fish that can be eaten in limited amounts (orange light). Anglers have been routinely informed about consumption advisories, but never which fish species at which locations can be caught, eaten and enjoyed without limits.

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“While this is great news for anglers, it also reaffirms what we’ve known all along – that fresh fish from our state’s waters can be a part of a healthy diet,” AZGFD aquatics branch chief Chris Cantrell said. “We encourage all anglers to get out and ‘Fish AZ.’”

“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. “We are especially glad to let our fishing community know they have the green light to eat fish in in Arizona.”

Fresh fish from Arizona’s lakes, rivers and streams can be an important part of a healthy diet. Fish contain high-quality protein and other essential nutrients, are low in saturated fat and contain omega-3 fatty acids.

A well-balanced diet that includes a variety of fish can contribute to heart health and children’s proper growth and development.

See more information about Arizona Fish Consumption Advisories.