Alpena FWCO Assists Ecological Services with Contaminant
Studies in Southeast Michigan
BY JUSTIN CHIOTTI ALPENA FWCO-WATERFORD SUBSTATION
on the Clinton River near Mt. Clemens, Michigan. Credit: Justin Chiotti, USFWS
For the past four years, fish biologists from the Alpena Fish and Wildlife Conservation Office - Waterford Substation have assisted the East Lansing Ecological Services Office when conducting fish contaminant studies in Southeast Michigan. Since 2010, the USFWS Environmental Contaminants Program has led a collaborative effort with the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) to evaluate contaminants of emerging concern (CEC’s) (e.g., personal care products, pharmaceuticals, plasticizers, flame retardants, new use pesticides and hormones) with respect to source, routes of exposure, and impacts to Trust Resources within the Great Lakes basin. A primary component of this work is to determine if CEC’s analyzed in water and sediment correlate with reproductive, morphological and behavioral effects in fish.
Fish, water and sediment were collected from the Detroit River in 2010, 2011, and 2012, and the River Raisin in 2012. This year, and with the addition of St. Cloud State University to the effort, samples were collected from the Clinton River Watershed. Fyke netting and boat electrofishing was conducted during May and June targeting bluegill, walleye, and white sucker. Upon collection, fish were dissected to assess a suite of bio indicators including: genotoxic/blood cell results, molecular analyses, histopathology/reproductive endpoints, and in vitro screening assays.
from a white sucker collected in the Clinton River Watershed.
Credit: Justin Chiotti, USFWS
The Detroit, Raisin and Clinton Rivers are U.S. Areas of Concern (AOCs) under the bi-national Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement (GLWQA). Each of these areas contain Beneficial Use Impairments (BUI’s) such as degradation of fish and wildlife populations potentially resulting from excessive contaminant levels. While CECs are not specific to AOCs, pending results from this study, specific CECs may be considered Chemicals of Mutual Concern under Annex 3 of the revised GLWQA.
For more information on the work being conducted in Southeast Michigan and Huron Erie Corridor, please visit the Huron Erie Corridor Initiative webpage: http://huron-erie.org/.