Proposed Abstract Title

An assessment of wadable streams across an urban gradient in Western Washington; characterization of multiple stressors and juvenile salmonid condition.

Type of Presentation

Oral

Session Title

General species and food webs

Location

2016SSEC

Description

During the spring and summer of 2015, the US Geological Survey’s National Water Quality Assessment Program conducted a regional assessment of water and habitat quality by evaluating 53 wadable streams in Western Washington, as well as another 35 in the Willamette Valley (http://pubs.usgs.gov/fs/2015/3020/). The objective of the study was to identify and quantify multiple stressors acting on instream communities, and salmonids specifically, across watersheds that represent a gradient of urban development intensity. Numerous physical and chemical measures characterized instream stressors in the 10 weeks prior to the mid-June collection of biological endpoints. These included weekly water chemistry sampling for nutrients, major ions, and current-use pesticides, and less frequent sampling for mercury, organic waste indicators, and pharmaceuticals. A one-time characterization of contaminants in sediments and paired toxicity testing via standard toxicity tests with those sediments was also conducted. Biological condition is assessed through identification and enumeration of algal, invertebrate and fish communities at all sites. At 15 of these sites, a more detailed fish health assessment was conducted on juvenile Coho salmon and Cutthroat trout. As one part of this assessment, a ‘Juvenile Salmonid Scorecard’ was piloted aiming to more quantitatively link feral juvenile salmonid condition to instream stressors. Specifically, metrics of fish health include: size-at-age-per-degree-day, average growth-rate-per-degree-day, energy content, field necropsy scoring, and assessment of differential expression of biomarker genes of toxicant exposure. While some laboratory analyses are presently ongoing, observations at the fish health sites indicate the prevalence and severity of parasite infection was occasionally severe, and accumulated temperature degree-days at urban sites prior to the June sampling date was two or three times that of ‘reference’ streams. An overview of these and other available data will be presented.

Comments

http://pubs.usgs.gov/fs/2015/3020/

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An assessment of wadable streams across an urban gradient in Western Washington; characterization of multiple stressors and juvenile salmonid condition.

2016SSEC

During the spring and summer of 2015, the US Geological Survey’s National Water Quality Assessment Program conducted a regional assessment of water and habitat quality by evaluating 53 wadable streams in Western Washington, as well as another 35 in the Willamette Valley (http://pubs.usgs.gov/fs/2015/3020/). The objective of the study was to identify and quantify multiple stressors acting on instream communities, and salmonids specifically, across watersheds that represent a gradient of urban development intensity. Numerous physical and chemical measures characterized instream stressors in the 10 weeks prior to the mid-June collection of biological endpoints. These included weekly water chemistry sampling for nutrients, major ions, and current-use pesticides, and less frequent sampling for mercury, organic waste indicators, and pharmaceuticals. A one-time characterization of contaminants in sediments and paired toxicity testing via standard toxicity tests with those sediments was also conducted. Biological condition is assessed through identification and enumeration of algal, invertebrate and fish communities at all sites. At 15 of these sites, a more detailed fish health assessment was conducted on juvenile Coho salmon and Cutthroat trout. As one part of this assessment, a ‘Juvenile Salmonid Scorecard’ was piloted aiming to more quantitatively link feral juvenile salmonid condition to instream stressors. Specifically, metrics of fish health include: size-at-age-per-degree-day, average growth-rate-per-degree-day, energy content, field necropsy scoring, and assessment of differential expression of biomarker genes of toxicant exposure. While some laboratory analyses are presently ongoing, observations at the fish health sites indicate the prevalence and severity of parasite infection was occasionally severe, and accumulated temperature degree-days at urban sites prior to the June sampling date was two or three times that of ‘reference’ streams. An overview of these and other available data will be presented.