National Survey of Mercury Concentrations in Fish: Data Base Summary 1990-1995



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United States Environmental Protection Agency


This document describes the national mercury data base compiled and quality assured by EPA's Standards and Applied Science Division within the Office of Water's Office of Science and Technology. In addition to this introduction, this document contains a description of the data base (Section 2.0), including an overview of the data base format, inconsistencies among data sets, and a discussion of the steps taken to standardize and ensure data quality. Section 3 describes the data base in detail and provides a national overview of the types of data contained in the data base and a summary of mercury concentrations in selected fish species. Section 3 also presents state profiles; for each state included in the data base, a four-page graphical and tabular summary is provided. Each summary presents sampling information (e.g., the number of fish and sites sampled); detail on the ten most common species and other variables related to fish that are contained in each state data set; sampling sites and range in mercury concentration across each state for those reporting latitude and longitude; and summary statistics on fish mercury content. Section 4 describes issues relevant to analysis of the data, including treatment of nondetects, and provides a brief discussion of the potential future uses of the data base. Section 5 lists the references consulted in preparing this report.


218 pages; available for download at the link below.


mercury bioaccumulation, water quality, heavy metal contamination, environmental protection