This report summarizes the known information on the occurrence and distribution of mercury (Hg) in physical/chemical and biological matrices within the Bear Creek watershed. Based on these data, a matrix-specific monitoring protocol for the evaluation of the effectiveness of activities designed to remediate Hg contamination in the Bear Creek watershed is presented. The monitoring protocol documents procedures for collecting and processing water, sediment, and biota for estimation of total Hg (TotHg) and monomethyl mercury (MMeHg) in the Bear Creek watershed. The concurrent sampling of TotHg and MMeHg in biota as well as water and sediment from 10 monitoring sites is designed to assess the relative bioavailability of Hg released from Hg sources in the watershed and identify environments conducive to Hg methylation. These protocols are designed to assist landowners, land managers, water quality regulators, and scientists in determining whether specific restoration/mitigation actions lead to significant progress toward achieving water quality goals to reduce Hg in Bear and Sulphur Creeks.
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USGS Numbered Series
Mercury Assessment and Monitoring Protocol for the Bear Creek Watershed, Colusa County, California