Fish Contamination Assessment
2015 Fiscal Year Funding Amount:$135,000
2014 Fiscal Year Funding Amount:$135,000
2013 Fiscal Year Funding Amount:$130,000
2012 Fiscal Year Funding Amount:$130,000
2011 Fiscal Year Funding Amount:$132,000
2010 Fiscal Year Funding Amount:$130,000
Source:Clean Water Fund
Start Date:July 2009
Activity Type:Monitoring, Research, Assessment/Evaluation, Analysis/Interpretation
Project OverviewDNR works with Minnesota Pollution Control Agency and Minnesota Department of Health to determine the level of contamination from mercury and other harmful chemicals in fish from Minnesota's lakes and rivers and to track the success of efforts to reduce mercury pollution. Clean Water Legacy funding is being used to significantly increase (more than double) the number of lakes and rivers that are assessed for mercury contamination on an annual basis. Fish are collected during DNR fishery surveys, processed for laboratory testing, and analyzed for contaminants. The data are processed by DNR, shared with the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency and Minnesota Department of Health, and long-term trends are summarized in the Clean Water Fund Performance Report.
About the Issue
Many outdoor recreationists enjoy fishing and eating the fish they catch. Unfortunately, much of the fishery is contaminated with chemicals, primarily mercury. This has resulted in the issuance of a number of fish consumption advisories. Fish contaminant data provide the basis for these advisories. They also provide some measure of the threat to other fish-consuming species, including mink, otter, and loons. In addition, the measurement of mercury levels in fish provides an important indicator of progress in attempts to decrease the release of additional mercury into the environment.
Minnesota Department of Natural Resources
500 Lafayette Road
St. Paul, MN