The Fish Component monitors
species from Puget Sound, which are abundant, widely distributed, and
economically and/or ecologically important. Various life history traits
affect whether fish are exposed to and accumulate contaminants, including:
- trophic level -
the higher the level an animal feeds in the food web, the more likely
it is to accumulate some contaminants;
- longevity - the longer an animal lives, the more time it has to be exposed to
- home range - the smaller the home range, the easier it is to link contaminant
exposure to a contaminant source;
- habitat - the
potential for contaminant exposure may be affected by the habitat
an animal occupies. For example, demersal1 and benthic2 fish will
have more contact with contaminated sediments than a pelagic species;
- fat (lipid) content – some contaminants are fat soluble (lipophilic), therefore, species
with higher fat content will have greater potential to accumulate
Fish and Wildlife monitors
a variety of species with different life history traits to give a broad
overview of contaminants in Puget Sound fishes. Currently, we monitor
contaminant levels in nine species: English sole (Pleuronectes vetulus), copper rockfish (Sebastes caurinus), quillback rockfish (S.
maliger), brown rockfish (S. auriculatus), coho salmon (Oncorhynchus
kisutch), Pacific herring (Clupea harengus pallasi), Pacific
staghorn sculpin (Leptocottus armatus), Dungeness crab (Cancer
magister) and to a lesser extent chinook salmon (O. tshawytscha). Click picture for life history traits relative to contaminant exposure.
- Living near or on
the bottom of the sea, or in very deep water.
- Living on or closely associated with the bottom of a body of water.