Presentation Abstract

Polybrominated diphenyl ether (PBDE) flame retardant inputs to Puget Sound may be impairing the health of juvenile Chinook salmon and reducing their early marine survival in the Salish Sea, possibly contributing to their decline and limiting their recovery. Previous studies have shown Chinook salmon outmigrating from the Snohomish River accumulate PBDEs at concentrations high enough to alter their immune response, increasing their susceptibility to naturally occurring diseases; however, the source of PBDEs is unknown. Our study objective was to determine where in the Snohomish River system migrating Chinook salmon are exposed to and accumulate PBDEs, and to assess the source so that corrective actions can be implemented. Levels of PBDEs and other persistent organic pollutants were measured in salmon from the upstream tributaries of the Snoqualmie and Skykomish regions, representing the cumulative exposure from all sources prior to entering the Snohomish River, and were compared to those in salmon from subsequent downstream regions of the mainstem to assess where salmon are exposed and the exposure source. Additionally, contaminant levels were measured in salmon sampled from distributary channels of the lower delta to evaluate the extent of PBDE exposure in the outmigrating Snohomish River population. Analyses of the contaminant and body burden data reveal that juvenile Chinook salmon are primarily exposed to and accumulate PBDEs at two sites within the lower delta of the Snohomish River, both located in the immediate vicinity of a wastewater treatment plant outfall. Identification of the region within the Snohomish watershed where salmon are most exposed to PBDEs, as well as the source, allows environmental managers to establish corrective actions to control PBDE inputs. Ultimately, reductions in PBDE exposure should improve the health of Chinook salmon health and enhance their marine survival.

Session Title

The Salish Sea Marine Survival Project: Understanding Salmon Survival

Keywords

PBDEs, Juvenile Chinook, Snohomish

Conference Track

SSE11: Species and Food Webs

Conference Name

Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference (Seattle, WA : 2018)

Document Type

Event

SSEC Identifier

SSE11-431

Start Date

5-4-2018 2:30 PM

End Date

5-4-2018 2:45 PM

Type of Presentation

Oral

Contributing Repository

Digital content made available by University Archives, Heritage Resources, Western Libraries, Western Washington University.

Geographic Coverage

Salish Sea (B.C. and Wash.)

Rights

This resource is displayed for educational purposes only and may be subject to U.S. and international copyright laws. For more information about rights or obtaining copies of this resource, please contact University Archives, Heritage Resources, Western Libraries, Western Washington University, Bellingham, WA 98225-9103, USA (360-650-7534; heritage.resources@wwu.edu) and refer to the collection name and identifier. Any materials cited must be attributed to the Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference Records, University Archives, Heritage Resources, Western Libraries, Western Washington University.

Type

text

Language

English

Format

application/pdf

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Apr 5th, 2:30 PM Apr 5th, 2:45 PM

Input of of PBDE exposure in juvenile Chinook salmon along their out-migrant pathway through the Snohomish River, WA

Polybrominated diphenyl ether (PBDE) flame retardant inputs to Puget Sound may be impairing the health of juvenile Chinook salmon and reducing their early marine survival in the Salish Sea, possibly contributing to their decline and limiting their recovery. Previous studies have shown Chinook salmon outmigrating from the Snohomish River accumulate PBDEs at concentrations high enough to alter their immune response, increasing their susceptibility to naturally occurring diseases; however, the source of PBDEs is unknown. Our study objective was to determine where in the Snohomish River system migrating Chinook salmon are exposed to and accumulate PBDEs, and to assess the source so that corrective actions can be implemented. Levels of PBDEs and other persistent organic pollutants were measured in salmon from the upstream tributaries of the Snoqualmie and Skykomish regions, representing the cumulative exposure from all sources prior to entering the Snohomish River, and were compared to those in salmon from subsequent downstream regions of the mainstem to assess where salmon are exposed and the exposure source. Additionally, contaminant levels were measured in salmon sampled from distributary channels of the lower delta to evaluate the extent of PBDE exposure in the outmigrating Snohomish River population. Analyses of the contaminant and body burden data reveal that juvenile Chinook salmon are primarily exposed to and accumulate PBDEs at two sites within the lower delta of the Snohomish River, both located in the immediate vicinity of a wastewater treatment plant outfall. Identification of the region within the Snohomish watershed where salmon are most exposed to PBDEs, as well as the source, allows environmental managers to establish corrective actions to control PBDE inputs. Ultimately, reductions in PBDE exposure should improve the health of Chinook salmon health and enhance their marine survival.