Monitoring of mercury, flame retardants and other chemicals in lake trout and cisco from Great Bear Lake

Regions: Sahtu Settlement Area

Tags: contaminants, fish, mercury, metals, lake trout

Principal Investigator: Evans, Marlene (38)
Licence Number: 15947
Organization: Environment and Climate Change Canada
Licenced Year(s): 2016 2015 2014 2013
Issued: Aug 24, 2016
Project Team: Sean Backus (Researcher, ECCC), Edward Reeves (Coordinate fish collection, Deline RRC)

Objective(s): To find out whether contaminant levels are changing in fish (lake trout and cisco) in Great Bear Lake.

Project Description: This study is designed to find out whether contaminant levels are changing in fish (lake trout and cisco) in Great Bear Lake.

The research team require fall-caught fish for this study. Twenty whole lake trout and 20 whole cisco of a range of sizes are required from Great Bear Lake. The fish will be frozen immediately after capture and shipped to Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC)-Saskatoon. The fish will then be forwarded to ECCC-Burlington for processing. Fish length, weight, age, and gender are determined. A subsample of fillet for fish from the lakes investigated by Evans’ is removed and shipped to her for mercury and potentially other analyses. The remaining carcasses are homogenized and chemical analyses (Polybrominated Diphenyl Ethers, metals, including mercury) and carbon and nitrogen isotopes performed on the whole body. Correction factors have been developed for mercury measurements in whole body versus fillet.

Arrangements will be made by the local Renewable Resource Council (RRC) to have community members collect the fish for this research. The research team expect the community members will provide the fish from their normal subsistence catch. Coolers will be shipped to the RRC for return shipment of the frozen fish.

Community members (chosen by the local RRC) will collect fish for this study. The community will be kept informed of the progress of the study.

Results will be disseminated through reports and possible community visits.

The fieldwork for this study will be conducted from September 1, 2016 to December 31, 2016.