Sediment Toxicity Testing with Pacific Lamprey Ammocoetes in Portland Harbor
Pacific lamprey ammocoetes, larval stage.
Photo credit: Julia Unrein, Oregon State University
Abt Associates’ staff supported the Portland Harbor Natural Resource Damage Assessment Trustees on many aspects, including the injury assessment. The Trustees included several federal agencies and tribes in the Portland, Ore. region.
As part of this support, Abt staff designed, implemented, and managed a suite of sediment bioassays, or toxicology tests, on Pacific lamprey (Entosphenus tridentatus) ammocoetes (benthic, larval stage) in close collaboration with Oregon State University (OSU), the Confederated Tribes of the Siletz Indians, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
This work included collecting contaminated and reference sediment from the Willamette River in Portland Harbor and upstream from the harbor, which was used to conduct a series of bioassays at OSU examining the effects of various contaminant mixtures on ammocoete survival, growth, and behavior. This program also included detailed methods development for conducting work with this unique species/life stage.
Although we did not observe any effects of contaminated sediments on ammocoete survival or growth over the course of our 45 to 60 day exposure, we did observe changes in ammocoete burrowing behavior on some of the contaminated sediments, which could have potentially significant implications for predator avoidance in the field. All of our testing procedures, results and interpretation are described in detail in the references and links below.
Read related articles and presentations:
- Unrein, J.R., J.M. Morris, R.S. Chitwood, J. Lipton, J. Peers, S. van de Wetering, and C.B. Schreck. 2016. Pacific lamprey ammocoetes (Entosphenus tridentatus) exposed to contaminated Portland Harbor sediments: Method development and effects on survival, growth, and behavior. Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry 35(8):2092–2102.
- Morris, J.M., J. Peers, J. Lipton, J. Unrein, R. Chitwood, and C. Schreck. 2013. Pacific Lamprey Toxicity Study. Prepared for the Portland Harbor Natural Resource Trustee Council.
- Morris, J.M., J. Peers, J. Lipton, C. Schreck, R. Chitwood, and J. Unrein. 2012. Contaminated Sediment Affects Burrowing Behavior of Pacific Lamprey (Lampetra tridentata) Ammocoetes. 33rd Annual Meeting of the Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (SETAC), Long Beach, CA. November 11–15.
- Morris, J.M., J. Peers, J. Lipton, C. Schreck, R. Chitwood, and J. Unrein. 2011. Toxicity of Portland Harbor Sediments to Pacific Lamprey Ammocoetes (Lampetra tridentata). 32nd Annual Meeting of the Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (SETAC), Boston, MA. November 13–17.
- Lindeman, A., J. Unrein, C. Schreck, R.L. Chitwood, J. Morris, J. Peers. 2011. Pacific Lamprey Exposed to Contaminants: A) Effects of Contaminated Sediment on Larval Growth and Development, and B) Impacts of Herbicides in Adult Lamprey. 141st Annual Meeting of the American Fisheries Society, Seattle, WA. September 4-8.
- Unrein, J., J. Morris, R.L. Chitwood, J. Peers, and C. Schreck. 2011. Larval Pacific Lamprey (Entosphenus tridentatus) Exposed to Port of Portland Sediment. 47th Annual Meeting of the Oregon Chapter of the American Fisheries Society, Bend, OR. February 22-25.
- Peers, J., J.M. Morris, J. Lipton, C. Schreck, R Chitwood, and J. Unrein. 2010. Toxicity of Portland Harbor Sediments to Pacific Lamprey Ammocoetes (Lampetra tridentata): Experimental Design. 31st Annual Meeting of the Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (SETAC), Portland, OR. November 7–11.