Fish Contamination Assessment

Quick Facts

Source: 
Clean Water Fund
Status: 
In Progress
Activity Type: 
Monitoring, Analysis/Interpretation, Assessment/Evaluation, Research
Counties Affected 
Statewide
DNR works with Minnesota Pollution Control Agency and Minnesota Department of Health to determine the level of contamination from mercury and other harmful chemicals in fish from Minnesota's lakes and rivers. Clean Water Legacy funding is being used to significantly increase (more than double) the number of lakes and rivers that are assessed for contamination on an annual basis. Fish are collected during DNR fishery surveys, processed for laboratory testing, and analyzed for contaminants. The data are processed by DNR and shared with the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency and Minnesota Department of Health.

About the Issue

Many outdoor recreationists enjoy fishing and eating the fish they catch. Unfortunately, much of the fishery is contaminated with chemicals, primarily mercury. This has resulted in the issuance of a number of fish consumption advisories. Fish contaminant data provide the basis for these advisories. They also provide some measure of the threat to other fish-consuming species, including mink, otter, and loons. In addition, the measurement of mercury levels in fish provides an important indicator of progress in attempts to decrease the release of additional mercury into the environment.
Status: 
In Progress
Start Date: 
July 2009

Project Details by Fiscal Year

Fiscal Year(s): 
2014
Legal Citation / Subdivision: 
M.L. 2013, Chp. 137, Art. 2, Sec. 6(c)
Appropriation Language 
$135,000 the first year and $135,000 the second year are for assessing mercury contamination of fish, including monitoring to track the status of waters impaired by mercury and mercury reduction efforts over time.
Fiscal Year Funding Amount: 
$135,000
Proposed Measurable Outcome(s) 
Every year, DNR will test 80 lakes and rivers for fish contamination to collect information to be used for determining fish consumption advisories, impairment status, and trend markers for those sites. This is in addition to the approximately 70 lakes that are normally tested on an annual basis.
Fiscal Year(s): 
2013
Legal Citation / Subdivision: 
M.L. 2011, First Special Session, Chp. 6, Art. 2, Sec. 6(c)
Appropriation Language 
$130,000 the first year and $130,000 the second year are for assessing mercury contamination of fish, including monitoring to track the status of waters impaired by mercury and mercury reduction efforts over time.
Fiscal Year Funding Amount: 
$130,000
Direct expenses: 
$113,269
Number of full time equivalents funded: 
0.0
Proposed Measurable Outcome(s) 
Every year, DNR will test 80 lakes and rivers for fish contamination to collect information to be used for determining fish consumption advisories, impairment status, and trend markers for those sites. This is in addition to the approximately 70 lakes that are normally tested on an annual basis.
Measurable Outcome(s) 
FY13, DNR tested 80 lakes and rivers for fish contamination to collect information to be used for determining fish consumption advisories, impairment status, and trend markers for those sites. This is in addition to the approximately 70 lakes that are normally tested on an annual basis.
Fiscal Year(s): 
2012
Legal Citation / Subdivision: 
M.L. 2011, First Special Session, Chp. 6, Art. 2, Sec. 6(c)
Appropriation Language 
$130,000 the first year and $130,000 the second year are for assessing mercury contamination of fish, including monitoring to track the status of waters impaired by mercury and mercury reduction efforts over time.
Fiscal Year Funding Amount: 
$130,000
Direct expenses: 
$112,245
Administration costs: 
$17,725
Number of full time equivalents funded: 
0.0
Proposed Measurable Outcome(s) 
Every year, DNR will test 80 lakes and rivers for fish contamination to collect information to be used for determining fish consumption advisories, impairment status, and trend markers for those sites. This is in addition to the approximately 70 lakes that are normally tested on an annual basis.
Measurable Outcome(s) 
FY12, DNR tested 80 lakes and rivers for fish contamination to collect information to be used for determining fish consumption advisories, impairment status, and trend markers for those sites. This is in addition to the approximately 70 lakes that are normally tested on an annual basis.
Fiscal Year(s): 
2011
Legal Citation / Subdivision: 
M.L. 2009, Chp. 172, Art. 2, Sec. 5(a)
Fiscal Year Funding Amount: 
$132,000
Direct expenses: 
$107,961
Administration costs: 
$24,038
Number of full time equivalents funded: 
0.0
Proposed Measurable Outcome(s) 
Every year, DNR will test 80 lakes and rivers for fish contamination to collect information to be used for determining fish consumption advisories, impairment status, and trend markers for those sites. This is in addition to the approximately 70 lakes that are normally tested on an annual basis.
Measurable Outcome(s) 
In FY11, DNR tested 80 lakes and rivers for fish contamination to collect information to be used for determining fish consumption advisories, impairment status, and trend markers for those sites. This is in addition to the approximately 70 lakes that are normally tested on an annual basis.
Fiscal Year(s): 
2010
Legal Citation / Subdivision: 
M.L. 2009, Chp. 172, Art. 2, Sec. 5(a)
Fiscal Year Funding Amount: 
$130,000
Number of full time equivalents funded: 
0.0
Proposed Measurable Outcome(s) 
Every year, DNR will test 80 lakes and rivers for fish contamination to collect information to be used for determining fish consumption advisories, impairment status, and trend markers for those sites. This is in addition to the approximately 70 lakes that are normally tested on an annual basis.
Measurable Outcome(s) 
In FY10, DNR tested 80 lakes and rivers for fish contamination to collect information to be used for determining fish consumption advisories, impairment status, and trend markers for those sites. This is in addition to the approximately 70 lakes that are normally tested on an annual basis.

Project Manager

Mark
Briggs
Minnesota Department of Natural Resources
500 Lafayette Road
St. Paul, MN
55155
651-259-5078