Science Inventory

Assessment of Mercury in Fish Tissue from Select Lakes of Northeastern Oregon

Impact/Purpose:

1. To determine the mercury concentrations in the commonly consumed fish muscle tissues obtained from five waterbodies sampled from NE Oregon. 2. To determine the concentrations of mercury in fish tissues and compare with Oregon's Health Authority mercury health screening level.

Description:

A fish tissue study was conducted in five northeastern Oregon reservoirs to evaluate mercury concentrations in an area where elevated atmospheric mercury deposition had been predicted by a national EPA model, but where tissue data were sparse. The study targeted resident predator species that are known to be caught and consumed by humans. The study design was based on EPA guidance and intended to be adequate for use by state authorities who develop consumption advisories where needed. A total of 19 composite samples of muscle tissue were collected and analyzed from Balm Creek, Bully Creek, Phillips, Thief Valley, and Powder River Arm of Brownlee reservoirs. An adequate number of samples useable for fish advisory evaluation was collected for at least one species at four of the five reservoirs. Mean total mercury concentration ranged from a low of 0.06 mg/kg in rainbow trout of Thief Valley Reservoir to a high of 0.58 mg/kg in yellow perch of Phillips Reservoir. Data are compared to threshold values used by Oregon Department of Health for fish advisory screening. Based on these 2011 sample results, Phillips Reservoir is a candidate for development of a fish advisory for consumption of yellow perch. The mean of two samples was 0.58 mg/kg, substantially higher than the 0.23 mg/kg threshold used by Oregon Health Authority. These results confirm previous data collected from Phillips Reservoir. An advisory for sport fish has been in effect for Brownlee Reservoir since 1997. The 2011 results from the Powder River Arm of Brownlee Reservoir are similar to what has been found in past data. The Northeast Oregon results are compared to results from large scale studies conducted elsewhere in the Pacific Northwest. Data gaps that would be useful to fill if resources become available include sampling of the remaining game species in all five reservoirs, and sampling fish species for mercury concentrations in other nearby reservoirs.

URLs/Downloads:

Peer Review Panel   (PDF,NA pp, 39 KB,  about PDF)

NEORHG_REPORT DRAFT_1_24B_2012 MATHENY COMMENTS.PDF   (PDF,NA pp, 516 KB,  about PDF)

NEORHG_REPORT DRAFT_1_24B_2012_LW COMMENTS.PDF   (PDF,NA pp, 524 KB,  about PDF)

NEORHG_REPORT DRAFT 2_06_12 MATHENY AND WOODRUFF COMMENTS INCORPORATED.PDF   (PDF,NA pp, 506 KB,  about PDF)

NEORHG_REPORT DRAFT 2_06_12 MATHENY AND WOODRUFF COMMENTS INCORPORATED.PDF   (PDF,NA pp, 506 KB,  about PDF)

NEORHG_REPORT DRAFT 2_06_12 LONS COMMENTS.PDF   (PDF,NA pp, 515 KB,  about PDF)

MERCURY IN FISH TISSUE FROM SELECTED LAKES IN NORTHEASTERN OREGON-CHARGE.PDF   (PDF,NA pp, 13 KB,  about PDF)

Peer Review Plan   (PDF,NA pp, 33 KB,  about PDF)

MERCURY IN FISH TISSUE NORTHEASTERN OREGON LAKES.PDF   (PDF,NA pp, 1426 KB,  about PDF)

Assessment of Mercury in Fish Tissue from Select Lakes of Northe   Exit

Record Details:

Record Type: PROJECT (ASSESSMENT DOCUMENT)
Start Date: 02/28/2012
Completion Date: 02/28/2012
OMB Category: Other
Record ID: 247423

Organization:

U.S. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY

REGION 10

OFFICE OF REGIONAL ADMINISTRATOR

OFFICE OF ENVIRONMENTAL ASSESSMENT