United States                   Office of Water
          Environmental Protection Agency        4301T
EPA-823-F-05-003
   October 2005
          EPA Releases Third and Fourth Years of Data from the
          National Study of Chemical Residues in Lake Fish Tissue
EPA is releasing the third and fourth years of data from the National Study of Chemical
Residues in Lake Fish Tissue, a four-year national survey of freshwater fish
contamination in lakes and reservoirs in the lower 48 states. EPA worked with 47
states, three tribes, and two other federal agencies to collect fish from 500 lakes and
reservoirs selected randomly from the estimated 147,000 target lakes and reservoirs in
the 48 states. EPA completed chemical analysis of all fish samples in May 2005.  The
Agency will conduct a statistical analysis of the four-year data set by January 2006 and
produce a final report in 2006.

Background

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is conducting the largest national freshwater
fish contamination survey undertaken by a federal agency, the National Study of
Chemical Residues in Lake Fish Tissue. Two features make this study unique.  It
includes the largest set of chemicals ever studied in  lake fish, and it is the first national
fish contamination survey to have sampling sites selected according to a statistical
design.  This statistical design will allow EPA to estimate the percentage of lakes and
reservoirs in the lower 48 states with fish tissue concentrations above levels of potential
concern for human or ecosystem health.  The study will also provide the first national
estimates of mean concentrations of 268 persistent,  bioaccumulative, and toxic (PBT)
chemicals in lake fish and define a national baseline for tracking reductions of PBT
chemicals in freshwater fish as a result of pollution control activities.

EPA worked with 47 states, three tribes, and two other federal agencies for four years
(2000-2003) to collect fish from 500 lakes and reservoirs selected randomly from the
estimated 147,000 target lakes and reservoirs in the lower 48 states. These lakes and
reservoirs are divided into six size categories, ranging from 2.5 to over 900,000 surface
acres.  Sampling teams used consistent methods nationwide to collect samples of a
predator fish species (e.g., bass or trout) and a bottom-dwelling species (e.g., catfish or
carp) from each lake or reservoir.  EPA analyzed fillets for the predator samples and
whole bodies for the bottom dweller samples for the  chemicals listed below.
Target Chemicals

EPA analyzed the fish tissue for:
     2 Metals (Mercury and Arsenic)
    17 Dioxins and Furans
  159 PCB congener measurements
   46 Pesticides
    40 Other Semivolatile Organics
                                                500 Sampling Locations

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Interim Data Releases

EPA is making interim data available each year before the end of the National Lake Fish
Tissue Study. This data release includes results from the third and fourth years of the
study.  These results are quality-assured raw data from collection and analysis offish
samples from the 113 lakes and reservoirs sampled in 2002 and the 133 lakes and
reservoirs sampled in 2003.  Quality-assured results are also available from the 254
lakes sampled during the first and second years of the study (2000 and 2001).  You can
obtain CDs containing the first through fourth years of data by contacting EPA's
National Lake Fish Tissue  Study Manager using the contact information provided below.

Future Actions

EPA completed chemical analysis of the fish samples in May 2005. The Agency will
conduct a statistical analysis of the cumulative four-year data set by January 2006 and
produce a final report in 2006.

For More Information

For more information on the National Lake Fish Tissue Study, please contact
Leanne Stahl, EPA's National Lake Fish Tissue Study Manager, by e-mail at
stahl.leanne(S)epa.gov or by phone at 202-566-0404.  You can find additional
information about the fish study online at www.epa.gov/waterscience/fishstudy/.

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