Mercury concentrations in edible muscle of Lake Whatcom Fish

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Title Mercury concentrations in edible muscle of Lake Whatcom Fish
Creator Johnston,Jim; Mueller, Karl; Patrick, Glen; Serdar, Dave
Subject Mercury; Fishes; Trace elements; Water -- Pollution
Spatial Coverage Washington
Description Abstract Concentrations of total mercury were assessed in edible muscle (fillet) tissues of 273 fish collected from Lake Whatcom near Bellingham, Washington. Samples of six finfish species and signal crayfish were analyzed from each of the lake?s three major basins. Mercury concentrations were much higher in smallmouth bass (Micropterus dolomieu) compared to yellow perch (Perca flavescens), kokanee (Oncorhynchus nerka), pumpkinseed (Lepomis gibbosus), cutthroat trout (Oncorhynchus clarki), brown bullhead (Ameiurus nebulosus), and signal crayfish (Pacifastacus leniusculus). Concentrations were positively correlated with length and age in smallmouth bass, and to a lesser extent in yellow perch and Basin 2 signal crayfish, but no such relationship was seen in other species. The overall mercury concentration in smallmouth bass averaged 0.49 µg/g (wet weight), and the maximum concentration was 1.84 µg/g. Mean mercury concentrations in other species were generally 0.05 ? 0.20 µg/g. All species from the southern Basin 3 had more mercury on average compared to their counterparts from the northern Basins 1 and 2, regardless of average size or age. However, there was no consistent direction in mercury concentrations between samples from Basin 1 and Basin 2. The Washington State Department of Health will use these data to develop a health risk assessment for Lake Whatcom, as a separate document. The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife will assess the potential impact of mercury on fish health, also as a separate document. Since 13 of the samples exceeded the EPA National Toxics Rule human health criterion of 0.825 µg/g, the Washington State Department of Ecology should add Lake Whatcom to the Section 303(d) list for mercury in tissue. Other recommendations are to investigate possible mercury sources to Lake Whatcom and determine if lake or watershed characteristics promote enhanced mercury uptake and accumulation by fish.
Publisher the Department of Ecology
Contributors Whatcom County Health and Human Services Department
Date 2001
Type Text
Format application/pdf
Digitization Specifications pdf file copied from USGS website ( ). Uploaded into CONTENTdm version 3.7.
Source Johnston,Jim, Mueller, Karl, Patrick, Glen, and Serdar, Dave, Mercury concentrations in edible muscle of Lake Whatcom Fish, Washington: the Department of Ecology Waterbody No. WA-01-9170 Publication No. 01-03-012, p64
Language eng
Rights Management Public Domain, Courtesy of the USGS
Holding Institution University of Utah
Metadata Cataloger Seung Hoon Yoo; Kristin Willmore
ARK ark:/87278/s6736pt1
Setname wwdl_er
Date Created 2004-12-16
Date Modified 2005-10-13
ID 1145773
Reference URL