The objectives of this study are to determine temporal trends of persistent organic pollutants (POPs) and metals, especially mercury, in landlocked Arctic char in Char Lake and Resolute Lake by analysis of annual sample collections, to investigate factors influencing contaminant levels in landlocked char such as the influence of sampling time, water temperature and diet, and to provide this information on a timely basis to the community of Qausuittuq (Resolute). The rationale is that small lakes in the high arctic are replenished annually with snowmelt runoff and direct precipitation which represent significant fractions of their water budgets. Declining concentrations of POPs, or increasing levels of previously unstudied POPs, in air and precipitation should be reflected relatively quickly in changes in levels in food webs and top predator fishes, compared to the vast marine environment. We know this to be the case from the sedimentary record of POPs and mercury in small arctic lakes. This project collects landlocked arctic char from lakes near Resolute annually and analyses them for mercury, a suite of other metals as well as persistent organic pollutants (PCBs, organochlorine pesticides including toxaphene). Results will be compared over time. The first samples were collected from Char and Resolute Lakes in 1992/93. The next set were collected in 1997 and annually since then. Char are being collected from several lakes in the area because of limited sample numbers in some lakes and the possibility of local influences. Samples are also being archived for future analyses.
landlocked arctic char
Storage in chest freezers at National water Research Institute (-25C). A database (for internal use only) is used to track location and subsampling of tissues.
Muir, D.C.G., D. Bright and G. Koch. Temporal trends of persistent organic pollutants and metals in landlocked char. In: Synopsis of Research Conducted Under the 1999/00 Northern Contaminants Program, S. Kalhok (Ed). Ottawa: Indian and Northern Affairs Canada. Pp. ..
All analyses are conducted at the National Laboratory for Environmental Testing (NWRI) Burlington On. This is a ISO-9000 certified laboratory for both metals and POPs. See other projects from D. Muir.
Günter Köck (University of Innsbruck, Austria)
Northern Contaminants Program, Indian and Northern Affairs Canada
Local knowledge of the fisheries in each lake is used in the project