State Study Finds
by Mitch Lies
An Oregon Department of Environmental Quality study of a 150-mile stretch of the Columbia River found water quality is "generally good" for recreational use.
But the study shows that the lower-middle section of the Columbia suffers from fish-habitat degradation, and fish samples contained contaminants, including PCBs, mercury and banned pesticides such as DDT.
The five-year study is the first of its kind for the lower-middle section of the Columbia between Cascade Locks and Bonneville Dam on the west and Umatilla and McNary Dam on the east.
"It helps us better understand general water quality conditions in the Columbia and the extent of contamination in fish in the river," said Aaron Borisenko, manager of DEQ Laboratory's water quality monitoring program, which produced the study.
The study involved collecting water and fish tissue samples at 31 locations. Findings released Nov. 26 include:
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