We sampled benthos from the St. Marys River in May 1974 and May 1975 to determine visibly the occurrence of sorpted oil and the distribution of nymphs of the burrowing mayfly Hexagenia in the bottom of the Lake George and Lake Nicolet channels. Results of our survey showed that, between 1967 and 1974-75, the occurrence of oil in the substrate of the Lake George Channel had advanced from 16 km to 30 km downstream from the point where oil is discharged at Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario. Absence or low densities of nymphs coincided with the presence of oil in the sediments. In the Lake Nicolet Channel, evidence of oil pollution was meager and the density of Hexagenia nymphs was generally high.
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The occurrence of oil and the distribution of Hexagenia (Ephemeroptera: Ephemeridae) nymphs in the St. Marys River, Michigan and Ontario