Waterfowl hunters cautioned about eating mergansers
Harrisburg — To minimize potential health impacts, it's suggested that hunters don't eat merganser ducks, especially those harvested in the Lake Erie and northwestern Pennsylvania hunting zones.
Studies conducted over the past two decades on Pennsylvania and New York mergansers, especially common and red-breasted mergansers in the Lake Erie region, have concluded they may have varying levels of contaminants, including PCBs.
Mergansers consume fish and other aquatic organisms that may cause a concentration of contaminants in body tissue. Health officials have issued similar consumption advisories for certain species of fish found in these same waters.
For this reason, hunters are cautioned to not consume any mergansers. Other waterfowl should be skinned and the fat removed before cooking. Stuffing should be discarded after cooking and should not be consumed.