Spatial Patterns and Rankings of Contaminant Concentrations in Herring Gull Eggs from 15 Sites in the Great Lakes and Connecting Channels, 1998–2002
Mean values of eight contaminants in Herring Gull (Larus argentatus) eggs were calculated for 15 Great Lakes sites for the 5 year period 1998–2002. The sites were ranked according to the concentrations of each of seven compounds relative to fish flesh criteria for the protection of piscivorous wildlife, and a single overall rank of contamination was calculated for each site. Based on this weighted ranking scheme, we found that sum PCBs, dioxin and DDE contributed the most (60.2, 30.5% and 8.5%, respectively) to the overall rankings. The weighted ranking scheme showed that eggs from Channel-Shelter Island (Saginaw Bay, Lake Huron), Strachan Island (St. Lawrence River) and Gull Island (northern Lake Michigan) ranked as the three most contaminated sites, while Agawa Rocks (eastern Lake Superior), Chantry Island (southern Lake Huron) and Port Colborne (eastern Lake Erie) ranked as the three least contaminated sites. Two of the three most contaminated sites are Areas of Concern; none of the three least contaminated sites are Areas of Concern.