Quality Assurance Project Plan: Effectiveness Monitoring for a Creosote-piling Removal Project: Embryos of Pacific Herring (Clupea pallasi) as Sentinels for the Presence of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs)

Category: Marine

Published: February 8, 2013

Pages: 38

Author(s): James E. West, Jennifer Lanksbury, Laurie Niewolny and Andrea Carey


The Washington Department of Natural Resources (DNR) will remove approximately 346 derelict pilings from Quilcene Bay, Hood Canal, Washington from July 2013 to February 2014. DNR has contracted with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife Puget Sound Ecosystem Monitoring Program’s Toxics in Biota Unit (Toxics in Biota) to conduct the biological effectiveness monitoring portion of this effort. The purpose of the herring egg study detailed here is to evaluate the effectiveness of removing these creosote-treated wooden pilings in reducing exposure of biota to chemical contamination from this source. The project is designed to compare and document the exposure to chemicals, primarily polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), on local biota (herring eggs) both before and after the Quilcene Bay creosote-treated pilings are removed. This Quality Assurance Project Plan (QAPP) describes the objectives and operating procedures for this effectiveness monitoring study.

WDFW will collect ripe and running (spawn ready) Quilcene Bay herring in March 2013 and manually spawn gametes from captured adults onto controlled surfaces (nylon mesh) to create uniform units of spawned eggs from a common source. The spawned eggs will be distributed among 25 anti-predator cages and then immediately deployed at various locations within the creosote-treated piling field. Five replicates will be placed per sample distance and a control sample will be deployed at a site away from the piling field. Developing embryos will be removed from the piling field after approximately ten days of incubation. Upon retrieval eggs from each replicate sample will be placed into separate jars and analyzed for of a range of PAH contaminants. This process will be repeated in the first spawning season after the creosote-treated piling removal, likely March of 2014.

Upon completion of the study, WDFW will produce a final report detailing the findings. The final report will be posted to the internet and all data will be submitted for uploading into Ecology’s Environmental Information Management database.