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WP4 Pesticides in Pacific Northwest (USA) Watersheds
() Pesticides and the biological requirements of Pacific salmon and steelhead.
Scholz, N1, Laetz, C1, Collier, T1, 1 NOAA Fisheries, Northwest Fisheries Science Center, Seattle, WA, USA
ABSTRACT- Major efforts are currently underway to recover wild salmonid populations in the Pacific Northwest, including coho (Oncorhynchus kisutch), chinook (O. tshawytscha), steelhead (O. mykiss), and other anadromous species that have been listed for protection under the U.S. Endangered Species Act. Much of this effort is focused on restoring the physical quality of degraded river systems and estuaries. However, it is notable that surface water monitoring studies by the U.S. Geological Survey and other agencies have found a wide range of current use pesticides in salmon habitats. Pesticides represent a key uncertainty in the recovery planning process for at-risk species, in part because of a lack of sublethal toxicity data that are specific to the biology and life histories of anadromous Pacific salmon. To date, very few studies have investigated the effects of pesticides over the range of concentrations that are actually detected in salmon habitats. In addition, few studies have focused on endpoints with clear significance for the viability of wild salmonid populations, including the survival, migration, or reproductive success of individual animals. Throughout the region, these uncertainties have made it difficult to prioritize habitat improvements in watersheds with mixed physical and chemical degradation. This presentation will highlight some of the current technical challenges, including the issue of ecological realism in toxicity testing and the potential for indirect and cumulative effects of pesticides on salmon and their habitats.
Key words: fish, salmon, pesticide, aquatic toxicology
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