Region 1 Fish Tissue Contamination QA Plan
Fish Tissue Contamination in Maine Lakes
Project Work/QA Plan
Maine Department of Environmental Protection, Maine Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife and Environmental Services Division, USEPA - Region 1 1993
Maine Department of Environmental Protection, Bureau of Land and Water Quality, Division of Environmental Assessment, State House Station 17, Augusta, ME 04333. June 1, 1993.
The purpose of this study is to determine the concentration of mercury and other metals, PCBs and selected pesticides in fish collected from Maine lakes. This information will be used to estimate the levels of contamination in fish populations and the risk that these levels pose to human and wildlife consumers. Data will be used to identify the variability of contamination and risk, which may be associated with, for example, species, lake type, geographic region and the ability to project this analysis across the entire population of lakes. Appropriate environmental management efforts can then be focused to evaluate and manage these risks.
Since the status of fish tissue contamination in Maine concerns both ecological and human health implications, two fish tissue matrices will be performed. One set of ten piscivorus fish collected from each of the lakes will be subdivided into two groups of five. One group will be used for whole body analysis of metals and organics, the other group for the analysis of mercury in the fillets. Mercury, as reported in the literature, has a tendency to concentrate in fish muscle (fillets). The separate analysis for mercury in fillets will allow comparison with the whole fish mercury analysis being conducted as part of this study. In addition, the information will be useful to evaluate human health risk and will be appropriate for comparison with other literature values. The set of five omnivorous fish will be used for whole body analysis of metals, PCBs and selected pesticides.
Lake sediments will be analyzed for metals and water column measurements will be made for trophic state indicators. Linkages with air flow patterns, geology, lake limnology, land use and other factors which may influence geographical distribution of fish tissue contamination will be evaluated.
The scope of this study will supplement the national EMAP Northeast Lakes Monitoring Program by applying site selection procedures in a more geographically intensive pattern and by using as many EMAP protocols as is feasible to meet study objectives. Information will also be available for use by other federal programs, such as NAWQUA, BEST and State of Maine environmental assessment reports, including the CWA 305(b) reports.