Assessment of general health of fishes collected at selected sites in the Great Lakes Basin In 2012

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During the past decade, there has been a substantive increase in the detection of “emerging contaminants”, defined as a new substance, chemical, or metabolite in the environment; or a legacy substance with a newly expanded distribution, altered release, or a newly recognized effect (such as endocrine disruption). Emerging contaminants include substances such as biogenic hormones (human and animal), brominated flame retardants, pharmaceuticals, personal care products, plasticizers, current use pesticides, detergents, and nanoparticles. These contaminants are frequently not regulated or inadequately regulated by state or Federal water quality programs. Information about the toxicity of these substances to fish and wildlife resources is generally limited, compared to more highly regulated contaminants, and some classes have been shown to cause affects (for example feminization of male fish, immunomodulation) that are not evaluated via traditional toxicity testing protocols. As a result, these compounds may pose a substantial, but currently poorly documented threat to aquatic ecosystems. Failure to identify and understand the impacts of these emerging contaminants on fish and wildlife resources may result in deleterious impacts to Great Lakes resources that can result in adverse ecological, economic and recreational consequences.

The U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service received funding through the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) for an Early Warning Program to detect and identify emerging contaminants and to evaluate the effects of these contaminants on fish and wildlife. The U.S. Geological Survey (WV Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit and National Fish Health Research Laboratory, Leetown Science Center) developed and implemented a biological effects monitoring protocol to assist in this program. Fish collections and measurements of biomarkers of exposure in Fall 2010 and Spring 2011 occurred at individual sites within select Areas of Concern (AOCs). They provided an assessment of the utility of the suite of biomarkers and also identified sites for more in-depth analyses. Selected areas are characterized as areas with known emerging contaminants, sensitive or listed species, areas downstream from municipal wastewater discharges or receiving waters for industrial facilities, and/or areas susceptible to agricultural or urban contamination, or harbors or ports. The results of the 2010- 2011 studies were summarized in Blazer et al. 2014 a, b, c; Braham et al. in review and Blazer et al. in review.

Study Area

Additional publication details

Publication type Report
Publication Subtype Federal Government Series
Title Assessment of general health of fishes collected at selected sites in the Great Lakes Basin In 2012
Series number 112-2015
Subseries Cooperator Science Series
Year Published 2015
Language English
Publisher U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Contributing office(s) Coop Res Unit Leetown
Description ii, 26
Country United States
Other Geospatial Great Lakes
Online Only (Y/N) N
Additional Online Files (Y/N) N
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