Anacortes, WA, United States
Anacortes, WA, United States

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Flinders C.,NCASI Northwest Aquatic Biology Facility | Wiegand P.,Water Quality NCASI
NCASI Technical Bulletin | Year: 2014

Over the last several decades, factors such as pollution, habitat destruction, and overfishing have been linked to population declines of several sturgeon species. As a result, most sturgeon species in North America are federally listed as threatened or endangered under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). Recently, industry-related permitting language, modeling activities, and total maximum daily load (TMDL) development have included water quality or habitat condition parameters designed to be protective of at-risk sturgeon species including shortnose, Atlantic, Gulf, and Alabama sturgeon. This document summarizes relationships with key water quality and habitat conditions, and provides background information and important life history characteristics for these four sturgeon species. Compared to other fish species, relatively few published studies have examined key water quality and habitat conditions of sturgeon. For all species examined, sensitivity to environmental condition is greatest in early life stages (eggs, embryos, larvae) and generally decreases with age and size. Although no studies were available for Alabama Sturgeon, studies examining early life stages typically focused on the effects of temperature, and found that survival and development were reduced at higher temperatures (18-20°C) for all species. Laboratory studies to determine preferred dissolved oxygen (DO), salinity, and temperature of juveniles (post-larval, fully formed fish-also known as fingerlings) generally showed that mortality was lowest and growth optimized at 70-100% oxygen saturation, 0-10%o salinity, and 12-28°C. Field studies suggest that adults are tolerant to a wider range of water quality and habitat conditions compared to other life stages, and that this is especially pronounced in anadromous species (fish that use both freshwater and marine environments). However, it appears that a smaller range of environmental cues and conditions are required to initiate spawning migration and reproduction such as decreased river flows, increased day length, and water temperature ranging from 9-27 °C. This review highlights the importance of considering the life stage, as well as study location when developing criteria intended to be protective of sturgeon.


In 1998, NCASI began a Long-Term Receiving Water Study (LTRWS) in four US pulp and paper mill effluent receiving waters: Codorus Creek (Pennsylvania), the Leaf River (Mississippi), and the McKenzie and Willamette Rivers (Oregon). Designed to extend >10 years, the objectives of the LTRWS are to evaluate spatial and temporal (season and year) patterns in the aquatic community at multiple sites relative to effluent discharge. Measured endpoints include water and effluent chemistry, effluent characterization with chronic bioassays, physical habitat parameters (temperature, flow, and substrate), and biotic community assessment (periphyton, benthic macroinvertebrates, and fish). This report provides a synopsis of the parameters collected during 2011, and summarizes changes in monitoring procedures, frequency, and sample location. Periphyton taxa richness in terms of diatom genera was greatest in the Leaf River (n=35) and lowest in the McKenzie River (n=25), while macroinvertebrate species richness was lowest in the Leaf River (n=31) and greatest in the McKenzie River (n=106). The greatest number offish species in 2011 was collected from the Leaf River (n=13), with lower species richness in the McKenzie River (n=5). The Willamette River and Codorus Creek were inaccessible during available sampling periods in 2011 due to high river flows. For greater detail regarding the use of these data to address effluent effects questions, readers should consult the 22 peer-reviewed articles and book chapters, or 39 NCASI Technical Bulletins derived from the LTRWS.


Malmberg B.,NCASI | Sleep D.,NCASI | Lama I.,NCASI Northwest Aquatic Biology Facility | Flinders C.,NCASI Northwest Aquatic Biology Facility
NCASI Technical Bulletin | Year: 2010

Runoff from managed forest watersheds yields approximately one-fifth of Canada's fresh water resource. The effects of harvesting activities on water quality and forest hydrology are effectively controlled by the application of provincial regulations and forestry best management practices. Managed forestlands in Canada receive 1.35 trillion m3/yr of precipitation and produce roughly 0.67 trillion m3/yr of streamflow and groundwater. The forest products industry's manufacturing operations draw about 0.3% of these surface and subsurface sources. Approximately 88% of the water used by manufacturing processes is returned directly to surface waters following treatment; nearly 11% is evaporated during manufacturing and wastewater treatment; and about 1% is imparted to products or solid residuals. Federal pulp and paper mill effluent standards, in conjunction with process improvements and advanced biological treatment systems, have resulted in declining trends in discharge loads of biochemical oxygen demand (BOD), total suspended solids (TSS), adsorbable organic halides (AOX), and dioxins and furans. Laboratory testing and artificial stream assessment of aquatic organisms exposed to these effluents at different concentrations have shown variable effects on organism survival, growth or reproductive capacity. In contrast, extensive in-stream studies carried out to date suggest that treated pulp and paper mill effluents have little effect on aquatic community structure. © 2010 by the National Council for Air and Stream Improvement, Inc.


Arthurs W.,NCASI Northwest Aquatic Biology Facility | Ragsdale R.,NCASI Northwest Aquatic Biology Facility
NCASI Technical Bulletin | Year: 2011

In 1998, NCASI began a Long-Term Receiving Water Study (LTRWS) in four U.S. pulp and paper mill effluent receiving waters: Codorus Creek (Pennsylvania), the Leaf River (Mississippi), and the McKenzie and Willamette Rivers (Oregon). Designed to extend more than 10 years, the objectives of the LTRWS are to evaluate spatial and temporal (season and year) patterns in the aquatic community at multiple sites relative to effluent discharge. Measured endpoints include water and effluent chemistry, effluent characterization with chronic bioassays, physical habitat parameters (temperature, flow, and substrate), and biotic community assessment (periphyton, benthic macroinvertebrates, and fish). This data compendium provides a synopsis of these parameters collected during 2008, and summarizes changes in monitoring procedures, frequency, or sample location. Periphyton taxa richness in terms of diatom species was greatest in the Leaf River with 185 species. Diatom species richness in Codorus Creek, and the McKenzie and Willamette Rivers were similar with 83, 79, and 85 species, respectively. Macroinvertebrate species richness was lowest in the Leaf River, with 74 species collected, followed by Codorus Creek with 111 species. Macroinvertebrate species richness in McKenzie and Willamette Rivers was similar with 153 and 147 species, respectively. The greatest diversity offish was seen in the Leaf River, where 41 species were collected during 2008. In Codorus Creek, 27 fish species were collected, while 12 and 17 fish species, respectively, were collected from the McKenzie and Willamette Rivers. Biological data are provided in greater detail along with water quality and habitat measures.


Short-term chronic bioassays (7-d) using fathead minnow and Ceriodaphnia dubia (n2-3) in conjunction with each of four fathead minnow life cycle tests were administered over a 10-year period to evaluate changes in biological response to combined bleachedlunbleached kraft mill effluent exposure as mill process upgrades were implemented. Life cycle and associated tests were conducted prior to, during (n=2), and following the completion of process upgrades. Upgrades included 100% C102 bleaching, condensate stripping, reduced liquor losses, conversion to aerobic secondary treatment, improved BMPs, 02 delignification, and reduced water use. Following upgrade completion, treated mill effluent had reduced concentrations of BOD (56%), COD (39%), color (36%), and polyphenols (66%) relative to pre-upgrade effluent, while phytosterols and resin acids, chlorinated resin acids, and fatty acids were reduced by 95%. Biological response to effluent exposure was reduced following the completion of process upgrades relative to pre-upgrade effluent. The 1C25 for Ceriodaphnia reproduction prior to mill upgrades was 12%, and increased to 31% following upgrade completion. No effluent-related response was seen in fathead minnow 7-d survival and growth in any test during the study. Prior to mill upgrades, 28- and 56-day survival and growth of juvenile fathead minnow were significantly lower in higher effluent concentrations than controls (1C25=48-98%), but showed no effluent-related differences following completion of mill upgrades. Egg production with exposure to post-upgrade effluent increased (1C25=58% effluent) compared to pre-upgrade effluent (1C2523%). Other measured endpoints (female liver somatic index (LSI), male testosterone and 1 1-ketotestosterone, and gonad histology) showed improvement following process upgrades while others showed inconsistent patterns relative to process upgrades (egg hatchability and diameter, gonad somatic index, male LSI, vitellogenin, and numbers of tubercles). Overall, changes in effluent quality associated with mill process upgrades appear to be associated with improved biological responses to treated effluent at this mill. © 2013 by the National Council for Air and Stream Improvement, Inc.

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