US Fish & Wildlife Service


Date of this Version



Published in Contaminant Report Number: R6/702C/92, 1-39, (1992)


Environmental contaminants surveys were conducted at National Elk, Seedskadee, and Hut ton Lake National Wildlife Refuges (NWR) to provide information on existing conditions to identify potential habitat quality problems, and to determine if non-point sources of pollution may be affecting the refuges. Pondweed (Potamogeton spp.) samples from Hut ton, Rush, and Cre;ghton Lakes and Lake George at Hut ton Lake NWR and Hay Farm Pond at Seedskadee NWR had boron concentrations greater than 300 ug/g dry weight, the level suspected of causing reduced growth in mallard ducklings (Eisler 1990). The source of the boron is unknown. One pondweed sample from Flat Creek at the National Elk Refuge had a selenium concentration of 3.2 ug/g dry weight, slightly above the 3 ug/g level of concern for bioaccumulation in fish and wildlife recommended by Lemly and Smith (1987). The source is unknown, but runoff from the adjacent highway may account for the selenium. Continued monitoring of boron and selenium concentrations in aquatic vegetation and aquatic invertebrates is recommended for Seedskadee, Hut ton Lake and National Elk NWR's. Specific sites in need of monitoring include: Lake George and Creighton Lake at Hut ton Lake, Flat Creek adjacent to u.s. Highway 89 at the National Elk Refuge, and Hay Farm Pond at Seedskadee NWR.