3 years ago

Niagara River Remedial Action Plan Stage 2 Update Report

Niagara River Remedial Action Plan Stage 2 Update Report

Appendix 13:

Appendix 13: Restrictions on Wildlife Consumption Technical Review The following people comprised the technical review committee for this impairment: Shane de Solla, EC (lead) Laird Schutt, EC Kim Fernie, EC Cynthia Pekarik, EC Tana McDaniel, EC Pamela Martin, EC Robert Townsend, NYSDEC John Middleton, Brock University Anne Yagi, MNR Niagara District The committee’s feedback was provided in a written report which was used as the basis for writing this appendix. 1.0 Basis for Evaluating Impairment Status This BUI refers to advisories to the public to restrict their consumption of specific kinds of wildlife or not to consume it at all. It does not refer to the risk of contaminant exposure to non-human consumers. Furthermore, the BUI is in relation to non-fish wildlife which are part of aquatic ecosystems. Wild game species such as deer, hare, or wild turkey are not included, as they are not part of food chains where the primary route of contaminant exposure would be through the consumption of fish or aquatic invertebrates, or in some cases aquatic vegetation (e.g., cattails). Key factors in the assessment of this impairment include: 1. Contaminant body burdens - contaminant concentrations in edible tissue (i.e., muscle, eggs) within wildlife in the AOC relative to reference sites and/or guidelines. 2. Reported restrictions on wildlife consumption - current restrictions on wildlife in the AOC relative to reference sites (if applicable). If hunting or trapping for relevant aquatic wildlife species is permitted in the AOC, and contaminants in edible portions of those wildlife exceed guidelines for consumption leading to advisories against consumption, the BUI is considered impaired. If contaminants causing advisories have a source or cause outside the AOC, then the BUI is considered impaired but not due to local sources. When important evidence is missing or results are inconclusive, the status of requires further assessment is recommended. If there are no advisories to restrict wildlife consumption, the status of not impaired is recommended. Health Canada is responsible for determining what concentrations of chemical intake are safe for human consumption of wild-caught food, and to issue advisories to the public about the risks of consumption. In some cases, provincial programs have been developed to monitor and report on contaminant concentrations in fish (the MOE Sportfish Consumption Guidelines and monitoring program) and moose and deer (program conducted by MNR), with input from Health Canada. There is no such program in place for aquatic wildlife. 146

Niagara river remedial action plan stage 2 update 2.0 Available Evidence to Assess Impairment Status Information on Wildlife Species Consumed and Consumption Patterns in the AOC The Health Canada Great Lakes Health Effects group undertook a project from 1995-98 to survey fish and wildlife consumption patterns in lower Great Lakes AOCs, namely the St. Clair River, Detroit River, Niagara River, Hamilton Harbour, and Toronto and Region AOCs. However, wildlife consumption patterns were only reported for St. Clair River, Detroit River and Toronto. Although the Niagara River AOC was not surveyed, assuming some similarities amongst AOCs, the following general information about wildlife consumed and consumption patterns in the lower Great Lakes can be inferred from the relevant project reports (Dawson 1998a and 1998b, Kraft, 1998): }} The proportion of interviewees who consumed aquatic wildlife was low, ranging from 11% in the St. Clair River AOC, to 8% in the Detroit River AOC, 3% in the Niagara River and Toronto and Region AOCs, and 1% in the Hamilton Harbour AOC. }} Those that ate aquatic wildlife did not eat much annually, with approximately 80% of interviewees who consumed wildlife eating less than 11 meals a year, and 50-60% eating less than 5 meals per year. }} Only 60-70% of wildlife consumers who were interviewed reported eating wildlife that were taken within their respective AOCs. }} In all cases, the most popular species for consumption were Mallards and Canada Geese. Other duck species were taken much more infrequently, and other kinds of wildlife were taken by less than 5% of the wildlife consumers interviewed. In terms of the latter group: • In the St. Clair River AOC, 5% of wildlife consumers reported eating turtle, 4% reported eating frogs, and a single interviewee reported eating waterfowl eggs. • In the Detroit River AOC, one wildlife consumer reported eating frogs. • In the Toronto and Region AOC, 4% of wildlife consumers reported eating frogs, and 2% reported eating turtle eggs. Under the Human Health component of St. Lawrence Vision 2000, the public health research unit of the Centre hospitalier universitaire de Québec (CHUQ), carried out a study in the fall of 1999 on several aspects of waterfowl consumption by hunters. The study findings can be summarized as follows (Duchesne et al. 2001): }} On average, hunters consumed 7.5 meals of waterfowl annually. } } Regional differences in consumption existed between the middle St. Lawrence area and the estuary and Gulf of St. Lawrence. }} In the areas closest to the Great Lakes (Montreal and Lac Saint-Pierre), similar to the AOC examples discussed above, the largest proportion of waterfowl taken were geese (approx. 60% of respondents), and dabbling ducks (approx. 90% of respondents). Consumption of diving ducks was represented in 10-25% of responses. The following wildlife are known or thought to be consumed (based on anecdotal evidence) in the Niagara River AOC (Dillon Consulting Ltd. 2004, A. Yagi MNR, pers. comm): }} Snapping Turtle } } } Migratory and resident waterfowl } Muskrat 147

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