Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Organohalogenated contaminants in multiple life stages of the Pacific lamprey (Entosphenus tridentatus), Oregon, USA

August 18, 2023

Pacific lamprey (Entosphenus tridentatus) are ecologically and culturally important anadromous animals native to the West Coast of the United States. Pacific lamprey populations are in decline, and contaminants may be a contributing factor. Between 2017 and 2021, three life stages of Pacific lamprey and collocated sediment samples were collected in Oregon (larval lamprey, sediment, and returning adult lamprey) and off the coast of Oregon and Washington (ocean juvenile lamprey). Tissue and sediment samples were analyzed for 56 organohalogenated compounds that included legacy pesticides, current use pesticides, polybrominated diphenyl ether congeners, and polychlorinated biphenyl congeners. Organohalogenated compounds were detected in all three Pacific lamprey life stages. The organohalogenated compounds detected in collocated sediment and larval lamprey samples were generally dissimilar, and compounds detected in larval lamprey indicate potential point sources along the rivers. Ocean-caught juvenile lamprey had significantly higher lipid contents than returning adult lamprey, but lipid content and concentrations of select compounds were not strongly correlated. Concentrations of select compounds detected in both ocean juvenile and returning adult lamprey were either not significantly different or were higher in returning adult lamprey. Concentrations of some compounds in returning adult lamprey—which are consumed by Indigenous peoples—exceeded state and national human health consumption thresholds. Collaboration among Tribes and public-sector agencies helped make this study successful.

Publication Year 2023
Title Organohalogenated contaminants in multiple life stages of the Pacific lamprey (Entosphenus tridentatus), Oregon, USA
DOI 10.1016/j.envpol.2023.122363
Authors Cassandra Smith, Sean E. Payne, Jennifer L. Morace, Elena Nilsen
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Environmental Pollution
Index ID 70247850
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Oregon Water Science Center