The Ecotoxicology Program, together with the Lower Columbia Estuary Partnership and other agency partners, is conducting research to evaluate the impacts of toxic contaminants on listed salmon in the Lower Columbia River. These studies show that juvenile Chinook salmon from multiple population segments, including Snake River and Upper Columbia salmon from the Interior Columbia, accumulate persistent pollutants as they pass through urbanized areas along the Lower Columbia River. In some cases, tissue concentrations may be high enough to affect health and survival. These fish also appear to be exposed to wastewater contaminants, including environmental estrogens. The research clarifies the role of toxics as a limiting factor in the recovery of Columbia River salmon, and is being incorporated in recovery plans for these species.
Lyndal Johnson retired in 2017, following 33 years of service to NOAA. For questions about this Research Area, please contact Nat Scholz.
Bonneville Power Administration
Lower Columbia Estuary Partnership
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 10
U.S. Geological Survey Water Science Center, Portland
Johnson, L. L., B. F. Anulacion, M. R. Arkoosh, O. P. Olson, C. A. Sloan, S. Y. Sol, J. A. Spromberg, D. J. Teel, G. K. Yanagida, G. M. Ylitalo. 2013. Persistent organic pollutants in juvenile Chinook salmon in the Columbia Basin: Implications for stock recovery. Transactions of the American Fisheries Society, 142:21-40.
Yanagida, G. K., B. F. Anulacion, J. L. Bolton, D. Boyd, D. P. Lomax, O. P. Olson, S. Sol, M. J. Willis, G. M. Ylitalo, L. L. Johnson. 2012. Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and risk to threatened and endangered Chinook salmon in the Lower Columbia River estuary. Archives of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology. 62:282-295
Johnson, L. L., M. L. Willis, O. P. Olson, R. W. Pearce, C. A. Sloan, G. M. Ylitalo. 2010. Contaminant exposure in juvenile salmon from Columbia River hatcheries. North American Journal of Aquaculture, 72:73-92.
Sloan, C. A., B. F. Anulacion, J. L. Bolton, D. Boyd, O. P. Olson, S. Y. Sol, G. M. Ylitalo, L. L. Johnson. 2010. Polybrominated diphenyl ethers in outmigrant juvenile Chinook salmon From the Lower Columbia River and Estuary and Puget Sound, WA. Archives of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology, 58:403-414.
Spromberg, J. A., and L. L. Johnson. 2008. Potential effects of freshwater and estuarine contaminant exposure on Lower Columbia River Chinook Salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) populations. Page 288 in Akcakaya, H. R., J. D. Stark, T. S. Bridges. (Eds.) Demographic Toxicity Methods in Ecological Risk Assessment. Oxford University Press, Oxford, United Kingdom.