Welcome to the <em>Exxon Valdez</em> Oil Spill Trustee Council Home Oil Spill Facts Habitat Protection Restoration Projects Recovery Since 89
Restoration Projects

Project Information

Title: Impact of the Oil Spill on Juvenile Pink and Chum Salmon and Their Prey in Critical Nearshore Habitats

Project Year and Number: 1992: FS04-B

Other Fiscal Years and Numbers for this Project: 1992: FS04-A, 1992: FS04, 1991: FS04, 1990: FS04, 1989: FS04

Principal Investigator (PI): Alex Wertheimer, NOAA

Assisting Personnel: Mark Carls, Adrian Celewycz, Molly Sturdevant

Research Location: Prince William Sound

Restoration Category: Damage Assessment

Injured Resources Addressed: Pink Salmon

Abstract: Preliminary results from this study have documented effects of the Exxon Valdez oil spill to juvenile pink salmon, including exposure and hydrocarbon body burden, mixed function oxidase (MFO) induction, and reduced growth in oiled areas. The hydrocarbon profiles in contaminated pink salmon indicate that ingestion of oil, either directly or through contaminated prey, was the route of contamination. Density of juveniles, abundance of prey, and temperatures in the areas sampled do not explain the differences in growth observed. Field studies in 1989 and 1990 showed that temperatures and abundance of zooplankton prey were not different between oiled and non-oiled areas sampled; littoral epibenthic prey resources tended to be higher in oiled areas; and abundance of juvenile salmon was higher in non-oiled areas. The differences in growth are thus attributed to effects of oil contamination. In support of this conclusion, preliminary analysis of laboratory experiments in 1991 showed that ingestion of whole oil in food can adversely affect growth and survival of juvenile pink salmon. Many of the results and conclusions from this study regarding effects of oil contamination to juvenile salmon are preliminary and tentative at this time because of incomplete sample and data processing. From the 1989/1990 field collections, there are still outstanding hydrocarbon analyses; incomplete transfer of data on hydrocarbon analyses actually done; outstanding contracts on meiofauna analyses from experimentally oiled sediments, epibenthic crustaceans, MFO's, and pink salmon otoliths. From the 1991 oil ingestion experiment, growth measures from RNA/DNA assays and otolith increment analysis are incomplete; and no data are yet available for hydrocarbon tissue measures or MFO induction. When these data sets are completed, a final report will be prepared.


Species Fish - Salmon
Fields of Expertise Contaminants/Toxicology

Proposal: View PDF (18 KB)

Funding Recommendations: View

Funding Detail For: 1992

Quarterly Project Tasks For: 1992

Annual Report: 1992: Not Applicable

Final Report: See Project 1191

Publications from this Project: None Available

More information may be available for this project under other years:

We continue to populate our database to make all of our project information available online. If you would like more information on any project listed below, please contact us and we can search our files for the information you request.

Project Number Proposal Annual Reports Final Report Data
1992: FS04-A View (PDF) 1992: Not Applicable
View No datasets
1992: FS04 Not Available 1992: Not Applicable
View No datasets
1991: FS04 Not Available 1991: Not Applicable
See Project FS04 See Project FS04
1990: FS04 Not Available 1990: Not Applicable
See Project FS04 See Project FS04
1989: FS04 Not Available 1989: Not Applicable
See Project FS04 See Project FS04