Conservation of native fish communities in tributaries to the Great Lakes: Predicting the impacts of contaminants delivered by spawning pacific Salmon

Grant: # 1244

Grant Amount: $222,115.00

Board Decision Year: 2012

University of Notre Dame (Notre Dame)

Chaloner, Dominic ([email protected]) 574-631-2441

GLFT - Ecosystem Health and Sustainable Fish Populations-C - Ecological and biological fisheries research to inform management

Project Details

Researchers assessed the relationship between the contaminant burden of stream-resident fish and contaminant biotransport by migratory Pacific salmon in the upper Great Lakes. They established factors important in determining the extent of contaminant burden of stream-resident fish with respect to salmon-mediated contaminant biotransport. Data generated was also used to parameterize a contaminant bioaccumulation model from which contaminant burdens of stream-resident fish could be projected for a given stream receiving salmon spawners. The broader intent was to use the projections in a mapping tool that would enable fisheries managers to identify locations where salmon-mediated contaminant transport might be especially problematic, which in turn may help guide future Pacific salmon stocking. Major conclusions include, first, that a limited number of factors influence transfer of persistent organic pollutants, but not mercury, from salmon to stream-resident fish. Second, at the watershed-level, biological context appears to be more important than physical or chemical context with respect to contaminant biotransport. Third, at the basin level, the most important factor is the degree of contamination within the lakes because of how this influences the salmon contaminant flux. Fourth, large variation in contaminant burden among stream-resident fish highlights the importance of diet, growth, and behavior.


2012.1244 Final Report
View - GLFT_Grant_2012.1244_Final_Report_31Aug2016.pdf