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Benthic macroinvertebrate and fish biomonitoring of abandoned mine sites near Kellogg, Idaho.

Abstract Book, U.S. Department of the Interior Conference on the Environment and Safety, April 24-28, 1995. Washington, DC: U.S. Bureau of Mines, 1995 Apr; :27
Benthic macroinvertebrate and fish communities were surveyed in Pine Creek and its tributaries to detect impacts of historic mining activity on aquatic life and to assess the location and degree of impact. Benthic samples were collected and the organisms identified and enumerated. These numbers were used to calculate a number of metrics which were compared to the metrics from an undisturbed reference site. The benthic survey indicated that the stream and tributaries were moderately impacted below most of the mine sites. The impacts seemed to be fairly localized as the benthic community showed some recovery at a relatively short distance below mines. The overall bioassessment rating was significantly correlated with habitat conditions but not with metal concentrations. This lack of correlation is probably due to 1) strong influence of habitat conditions, 2) variability in the chemical and physical processes which influence the bioavailability of metals, and 3) the presence of only moderate metal contamination. The fish survey also showed regions of impact and recovery which corresponded to location of mining activity. However, the degree of impact appeared higher, particularly where metal concentrations were elevated. These result indicate that biomonitoring is a useful tool in assessing the impact of mining on aquatic ecosystems.
Monitoring-systems; Aquatic-working-environment; Mining-industry; Water-sampling; Water-analysis; Metals; Metal-mining; Environmental-contamination; Environmental-pollution
Publication Date
Document Type
Conference/Symposia Proceedings; Abstract
Fiscal Year
NIOSH Division
Source Name
U.S. Bureau of Mines
Page last reviewed: May 5, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division