Understanding Community Based Monitoring Exceedances Through Site Assessments

Regions: South Slave Region

Tags: contaminants, fish, community based monitoring

Principal Investigator: McGeer, Jim (4)
Licence Number: 15962
Organization: Wilfrid Laurier University
Licenced Year(s): 2016
Issued: Sep 14, 2016
Project Team: Dr. Andrea Lister (co-Investigator, Wilfrid Laurier University), Dr. Scott Smith (co-Investigator, Wilfrid Laurier University), Mr Jonathan Ford (Graduate Student, Wilfrid Laurier University), Ms Alexandria Loveridge (Graduate Student, Wilfrid Laurier University)

Objective(s): To apply short term sublethal exposures to contaminants of concern with locally collected small bodied fish to establish measures of the relative bioavailability and effect in the Slave River.

Project Description: The objectives of this project are to apply short term sublethal exposures to contaminants of concern with locally collected small bodied fish to establish measures of the relative bioavailability and effect in the Slave River. This information will then be applied to the Community Based Monitoring (CBM) program data to assess exceedances in a more comprehensive manner.

Small fish (for example, emerald shiner, spottail shiner and slimy sculpin) will be collected via electrofishing (backpack) and seine net along the Slave River shoreline in the vicinity of the boat launch. Fish sampling will be done according to approved Animal Care methods. Collected fish will be exposed to sublethal concentrations of elements of concern (for example, copper, iron, zinc) for short periods of time (up to a day) under controlled conditions. After tests fish will be euthanized humanely and then dissected to collect gills, blood and other tissues. Body lengths and weight as well as organ weights will be recorded as well. Fish tissues will be frozen and brought back to the lab for subsequent analyses.

Water samples collected will be tested for common water quality characteristics with a YSI Quattro Pro (for ammonia, nitrate, pH, conductivity, temperature, oxygen) and also preserved for elemental analyses later.

Through manipulation of exposure conditions during the short term tests, for example exposure concentrations in either river water or typical lab waters, the results will allow the research team to assess the influence of local aquatic conditions on bioavailability and responses to exposure. These measures will provide data that contributes towards the refinement of CBM program data interpretations.

As the research team are pleased to share this information/data. Also interested to learn more about community experiences with the program and how the research could be directed towards addressing concerns and linked with existing knowledge.

All data will be openly available and discussions on outcomes/interpretation can be done upon request. Presentations and posters on the research will be available to interested parties. Student theses are available online through the Laurier Library.



The fieldwork for this study will be conducted from September 14, 2016 to December 31, 2016.