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Open-File Report 2013–1068

Prepared in cooperation with the City of Boise

Monitoring Plan for Mercury in Fish Tissue and Water from the Boise River, Snake River, and Brownlee Reservoir, Idaho and Oregon

By Christopher A. Mebane and Dorene E. MacCoy


The methylmercury criterion adopted as a water-quality standard in the State of Idaho is a concentration in fish tissue rather than a concentration in water. A plan for monitoring mercury in fish tissue and water was developed to evaluate whether fish in the Boise River, Idaho, upstream and downstream of wastewater-treatment plant discharges, meet the methylmercury water-quality criterion. Monitoring also will be conducted at sites on the Snake River, upstream and downstream of the confluence with the Boise River, and in Brownlee Reservoir, which lies along the border between Idaho and Oregon. Descriptions of standard procedures for collecting and processing samples and quality assurance steps are included. This monitoring plan is intended to provide a framework for cooperative methylmercury sampling in the lower Boise River basin.

First posted September 10, 2013

Revised December 1, 2016

For additional information contact:
Director, Idaho Water Science Center
U.S. Geological Survey
230 Collins Road
Boise, Idaho 83702

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Suggested citation:

Mebane, C.A., and MacCoy, D.E., 2013, Monitoring plan for mercury in fish tissue and water from the Boise River, Snake River, and Brownlee Reservoir, Idaho and Oregon (ver. 1.1, December 2016): U.S. Geological Survey Open- File Report 2013–1068, 26 p.,



Background and Objectives

Project Description

Field Sampling and Sample Processing

Laboratory Met

Quality Assurance and Quality Control


References Cited

Appendixes A–D

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