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Open Lakes Trend Monitoring Program: Total DDT

Contact Information

For further information on the Great Lakes Fish Monitoring and Surveillance Program, please contact:

Elizabeth Murphy (murphy.elizabeth@epa.gov)
Environmental Scientist
EPA Great Lakes National Program Office
(312) 353-4227 or 1-800-621-8431 x34227

Access the Data

Data produced by the GLFMSP can be obtained through the Great Lakes Environmental Database Query System or through the University of Illinois Extension website Exit EPA Disclaimer

You can also contact the program manager, Elizabeth Murphy, for information regarding the GLFMSP and/or supporting data.

Peer reviewed journal articles published using GLFMSP data can also be found on the Reports & Links page.

Mean total DDT concentration (ppb) in lake trout/walleye from 1991 through 2009.

Mean total DDT concentration (ppb) in lake trout/walleye from 1991 through 2009. (Click to enlarge)

Dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT) is a synthetic pesticide that was widely used in the U.S. prior to being banned in 1972 due to its harmful impacts on wildlife. The concentration of opDDT and its metabolites, opDDD and opDDE, (sumDDT) in Great Lakes top predator fish have continuously declined since the use of the chemical was banned. Concentrations remain well below the 1987 GLWQA target of 1.0 g/g ww across the basin. Based on data collected at Environment Canada monitoring locations, annual rates of decline are 6.8% in L. Superior, 7.1% in L. Huron, 7.5% in L. Erie, and 7.3% in L. Ontario. The rates of decline appear to be consistent with historical trends. Annual rates of decline determined using U.S. EPA data are slightly lower at 4.5% in L. Superior, 5.9% in L. Michigan, 5.9% in L. Huron, 6.0% in L. Erie, and 6.7% in L. Ontario. Rates of decline at the U.S. monitoring stations appear to be declining faster in lakes Michigan, Huron, and Ontario compared to historical trends while rates remain consistent with historical trends in Lakes Superior and Erie.

GLFMSP DDT publications:

(McGoldrick, D., Clark, M., and Murphy, E. 2012. "Contaminants in Whole Fish", In: U.S. EPA and Environment Canada. 2012. State of the Great Lakes 2012.) (Click to enlarge)

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