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Subject: water salmon lead chatter
From: Ray Kinney <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Scientific forum on fish and fisheries <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Tue, 2 Jan 2001 14:15:32 -0800

text/plain (72 lines)

 Dear water/fish techies,
    Further chatter on the matter: bioavailable lead
 from  lost fishing sinkers in extremely low hardness salmonid habitat with
ESA listings. I have posted once before on the matter, received some good
 advice from two forums, and even more good advice e-mailed directly to me
rather than posted on the forum. In the interest of furthering forum
 diversity I will try to relate a little more to ponder.
 Any advice, critique, info greatly appreciated.
 I'm sure I'm overlooking a lot here.
    Our waters drain over a geology that does not
leachout very many minerals or  metals in spite of the copious rainfall in
western Oregon, hardness is
 9 to 20 as CaCO3, pH 6 to 7 (usually) but rain is more acidic, summer
elevated temps and low DO
 for fish.  Grab samples (approx 24) gave about 3/4 as nondetects at d 1ppb.
 The rest of the tests showed various dissolved lead 1.5 to 8 ppb with high
 being 22ppb. No EPA 'Ultra clean QA/QC,but
 much care was taken; and low risk waters were consistent as control, with
high risk waters showing
 detects. Very low budget as yet... so am awaiting funding for higher
QA/QC... good luck huh?
 We took a sample of upper watershed water (non-fished area) split it, took
a sinker out of the high risk area and suspended it carefully overnight in
one of the splits.... next day it tested out at 86ppb
 compared to other at non-detect.
 Huge numbers of lost sinkers exist on bedrock substrate that is abrading
sinkers. There is low flow in the critical warm months. EPA criteria is less
 than 1/4ppb for this water for chronic exposure of biota. I know that these
are very dilute numbers,but my main concerns arise from research in chronic
 low-dose behavioral effects of  lead and methyl mercury
(Weber,Spieler,Hodson,Strickler-Shaw, Newland,Spry, Wiener, Sandheinsich,
 and many more) and, Ruby et al. for estrogenic effects at what appear to be
environmentally significant levels to what we are seeing here.  See:
 Sublethal Lead Affects Pituitary Function of Rainbow Trout During Exogenous
 Vitellogenesis S.M.Ruby, R.Hull,P.Anderson  Arch.Envir.Contam Toxicol. 38,
 46-51 (2000). See: Aminolevulinic Acid Dehydratase Activity of Fish Blood
 an indicator of a Harmful Exposure to Lead  Peter V. Hodson  J. Fish.Res,
Board Can. 33:268-271.
 Highly recommend: Aquatic Toxicology:Molecular, Biochemical and Cellular
Perspectives (Behavioral Mechanisms of Metal Toxicity in Fishes Dan Weber,
Richard Spieler) Ed. Donald C.Malins and Gary K. Ostrander  Lewis Publishers
 also: Enhanced Bioaccumulation of mercury, cadmium and lead in
low-alkalinity waters: An emerging regional environmental problem. Wiener,
 J.G.;Stokes, P.M.  Environ. Toxicol.Chem '90 vol. 9, no7, pp821-823.
    Also, some of my main concern is not directly for the ESA species of
 interest but for sensitive species that support the salmon. Some of our
 runs are showing signs of being food-limited at less than 1% of their
 historic population levels. If, some portion of these runs become, in
effect, slightly dumber from sublethal, even subclinical levels of
 bioavailable lead, they may have subtle behavioral impairment and have food
 acquisition and predator avoidance problems at or near ocean -entry. we
don't have a metallothionein-inducing environment here that would probably
 exist in say a mine effluent situation. There is concern for immunologic
effects in freshwater that could predispose to higher toxicologic infuence
 of estuary pollutants. Agencies are dragging their butts... but the
government is spending many millions on work for non-ecotoxicologic salmon
 diversity habitat restoration here...BUT, a totally inadequate WQ
 assessment... sheesh! How
 totally stupid...... So got any suggestions?

 Ray Kinney
 Siuslaw Soil and Water Conservation District
 Dir. for water Quality

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