Skip Links

USGS - science for a changing world

Open-File Report 2011–1056

Prepared in cooperation with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

A Comparison of Mercury Burdens between St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge and St. Andrew Bay, Florida: Evaluation of Fish Body Burdens and Physiological Responses in Largemouth Bass, Spotted Seatrout, Striped Mullet, and Sunfish

By D.H. Huge, R.H. Rauschenberger, C.M. Wieser, and J.M. Hemming

Thumbnail image of report cover

ABSTRACT

Musculature from the dorsal region of 130 largemouth bass (Micropterus salmoides), 140 sunfish (Lepomis sp.), 41 spotted seatrout (Cynoscion nebulosus) and 67 striped mullet (Mugil cephalus) were collected from five estuarine and five freshwater sites within the St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge and two estuarine and two freshwater sites from St. Andrew Bay, Florida, United States of America. Musculature was analyzed for total mercury content, sagittal otoliths were removed for age determination and physiological responses were measured. Largemouth bass and sunfish from the refuge had higher mercury concentrations in musculature than those from the bay. Male spotted seatrout, male striped mullet, male and female sunfish and female largemouth bass had mercury burdens positively correlated with length. The majority of all four species of fish from both study areas contained mercury levels below 1.5 part per million, the limit for safe consumption recommended the Florida Department of Health. In comparison, a significant percentage of largemouth bass and sunfish from several sampled sites, most notably Otter Lake and Lake Renfroe within St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge, had mercury levels consistent with the health department's guidelines of "limited consumption" or "no consumption guidelines."

First posted March 28, 2011

For additional information contact:
D.H. Huge
U.S. Geological Survey
Southeast Ecological Science Center
7920 NW 71st Street
Gainesville, FL 32653

Part or all of this report is presented in Portable Document Format (PDF); the latest version of Adobe Reader or similar software is required to view it. Download the latest version of Adobe Reader, free of charge.


Suggested citation:

Huge, D.H., and Rauschenberger, R.H., Wieser, C.M., and Hemming, J.M., 2011, A comparison of mercury burdens between St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge and St. Andrew Bay, Florida: Evaluation of fish body burdens and physiological responses in largemouth bass, spotted seatrout, striped mullet, and sunfish: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2011–1056, 35 p.



Contents

Abstract

Introduction

Acknowledgments

Objectives and Hypotheses (Ho)

Methods

Sampling Locations and Fish Collection

Mercury Analyses

Statistical Analyses

Results

Discussion

Conclusions

References Cited


Accessibility FOIA Privacy Policies and Notices

Take Pride in America logo USA.gov logo U.S. Department of the Interior | U.S. Geological Survey
URL: http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2011/1056/index.html
Page Contact Information: USGS Publications Team
Page Last Modified: Wednesday, 07-Dec-2016 23:36:10 EST