Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Contaminant risks in consuming fish from the Area of Concern in the Upper Niagara River

September 30, 2023

The lack of contemporary data on contaminants in resident fish prevents an analysis of temporal trends in contaminant concentrations and the present-day status of the “Restrictions on Fish and Wildlife Consumption” Beneficial Use Impairment (BUI) in the Niagara River Area of Concern (AOC). During 2018, concentrations of 260 contaminants in four groups of fish species from five areas in or near the upper Niagara River AOC were analyzed to determine the potential risks from fish consumption, responses to remediation in an adjacent AOC, and whether additional remedial actions were warranted in this AOC. The concentrations of most contaminants were generally undetectable or did not exceed established Federal, State, or European Union fish-consumption limits. Several contaminants without State or Federal limits exceeded European Union fish-consumption guidelines in some species and areas. High PCB residues in many bullhead from Scajaquada Creek, some bass from Hoyt Lake, and most common carp from all areas surpassed certain New York and Federal fish-consumption limits and indicate PCBs continue to restrict fish consumption at most study areas. High concentrations of several contaminants in resident fish, especially dioxins and furans in carp, from Cayuga Creek indicate that additional scrutiny of consumption advisories is warranted in this area. Because this study provides a snapshot in time of fish-contaminant data from five areas, additional data from other areas and times, and more detailed information on present-day pollutant sources may be needed before determining the status of the fish-consumption BUI in this AOC.

Publication Year 2023
Title Contaminant risks in consuming fish from the Area of Concern in the Upper Niagara River
DOI 10.1016/j.jglr.2023.07.002
Authors Barry P. Baldigo, Patrick J. Phillips, Scott D. George, Mark Filipski
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Journal of Great Lakes Research
Index ID 70249491
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization New York Water Science Center