Pacific lampreys (Entosphenus tridentatus) have resided in the Columbia River Basin for millennia and have great ecological and cultural importance. The role of habitat contamination in the recent decline of the species has rarely been studied and was the main objective of this effort. A wide range of contaminants (115 analytes) was measured in sediments and tissues at 27 sites across a large geographic area of diverse land use. This is the largest dataset of contaminants in habitats and tissues of Pacific lamprey in North America and the first study to compare contaminant bioburden during the larval life stage and the anadromous, adult portion of the life cycle. Bioaccumulation of pesticides, flame retardants, and mercury was observed at many sites. Based on available data, contaminants are accumulating in larval Pacific lamprey at levels that are likely detrimental to organism health and may be contributing to the decline of the species.
Nilsen, E. B., Hapke, W. B., McIlraith, B., & Markovchick, D. (2015). Reconnaissance of contaminants in larval Pacific lamprey (Entosphenus tridentatus) tissues and habitats in the Columbia River Basin, Oregon and Washington, USA. Environmental Pollution, 201, 121–130. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.envpol.2015.03.003