This report presents the results of a study by the U.S. Geological Survey, done in cooperation with the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, to determine mercury concentrations in whole-body fish and fish muscle plugs from the South Fork of the Humboldt River near Elko in the Te-Moak Indian Reservation. A single muscle plug was collected from beneath the dorsal fin area in each of the three whole-body fish samples. After homogenization and lyophilization of the muscle plugs and whole-body fish samples, mercury concentrations were determined with a direct mercury analyzer utilizing the process of thermal combustion-gold amalgamation atomic absorption spectroscopy. Mercury concentrations in whole-body fish ranged from 0.048 to 0.061 microgram per gram wet weight, and 0.061 to 0.082 microgram per gram wet weight in muscle plugs. All sample mercury concentrations were well below the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's fish consumption advisory of 0.30 microgram per gram wet weight.
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USGS Numbered Series
Determination of Total Mercury in Whole-Body Fish and Fish Muscle Plugs Collected from the South Fork of the Humboldt River, Nevada, September 2005