US Fish & Wildlife Service


Date of this Version



Published in Contaminant Report Number: R6/601I/94, 1-23, (1994)


We collected three composite fish and three composite sediment samples from the Big Blue River in southeastern Nebraska to determine the presence of agricultural chemicals or other contaminants. Inorganic analyses consisted of individual analyses for arsenic, selenium, and mercury, as well as an ICP scan for other elements. Organic analyses included organochlorines, polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons, organophosphate and carbamate pesticides, and chlorphenoxy acid herbicides.

Arsenic was detected in the sediment samples, but not in the fish samples.

Selenium was detected in one of three sediment samples and in all fish samples.

Mercury was not detected in sediment samples, but was detected in all fish samples.

Organic compounds detected in composite fish samples include BHC compounds, chlordane compounds, DDT and its metabolites, and anthracene.

Outside of oil and grease, organic compounds were not detected in any sediment sample.