Fisheries and Hard Rock Mining

Tuesday, September 6, 2011: 8:00 AM-3:00 PM
302 (The Conference Center)
As human population expands so does demand for renewable and nonrenewable resources.  Human activities are linked to widespread extinction of North American freshwater fishes; primary causal factors are habitat destruction and degradation.  About 39 percent of 1,200 described North American inland fishes are imperiled and current extinction rate averages about 5.5 taxa per decade since 1890. Demand for fish as a protein and recreational resource is expanding and sustainability of fish resources depends on balancing their essential habitat needs with competing land and water uses, such as metal mining.

Metals serve important functions in technology, industry and everyday use. However, metal mining can raise sustainability issues relative to fisheries.  Metal extraction and processing requires landscape alteration, copious amounts of freshwater, and long-term or perpetual waste storage and treatment.  Biologists focused on balancing fisheries and metal mining requirements are often challenged to assess risks, predict impacts, avoid and/or mitigate impacts, and implement monitoring programs, often with limited information.  

The purpose of this symposium is to encourage biologists involved in fisheries and metal mining issues to share their knowledge and experiences, especially in relation to:

  • Case studies illustrating mine developments compatible and incompatible with fisheries sustainability
  • Essential baseline data for impact prediction and mitigation
  • Risk Assessments
  • Metals toxicity
  • Development of long term monitoring programs
  • What is a “low risk” versus “high risk” mineral development relative to fisheries
  • Successful and unsuccessful mitigation for fish habitat loss

Various aspects of how mining can impact fisheries will be discussed including: what we need to know about fish habitat, biointegrity, hydrology, water chemistry, toxicology, metals impacts on fish, monitoring, ecosystems, pollution indices, metals bioavailability and how to minimize or avoid impacts to fisheries.  The question of whether fisheries and mining is compatible and what conditions must be met to determine compatibility will be addressed.


Robert M. Hughes, Carol Ann Woody and Sarah L. O'Neal
Robert M. Hughes, Carol Ann Woody, Cindy Hartmann and Sarah L. O'Neal
8:00 AM
Metal Mining Effects on Aquatic Biota: North American and South American Examples and Perspectives Robert M. Hughes, Amnis Opes Institute; Nabor Moya, Universidad Mayor de San Simón; Miriam Castro, Universidade Federal de Lavras; Isabelle Lavoie, University of Quebec
8:15 AM
Water Quality and Fisheries Impacts of Mining in the North Fork Coeur D'alene River Subbasin, Idaho Kajsa E. Stromberg, Idaho Department of Environmental Quality; Mike Stevenson, U.S. Bureau of Land Management
8:30 AM
Fish Presence and Water Quality in a Proposed Copper Mining District, Alaska Sarah L. O'Neal, Fisheries Research and Consulting; Kendra Zamzow, Center for Science and Public Participation
8:45 AM
Bristol Bay Salmon and Proposed Copper Mining: Risks to Fisheries Carol Ann Woody, Fisheries Research and Consulting
9:00 AM
Integrating Sublethal Copper Neurotoxicity in Coho Salmon Across Scales of Biological Complexity Jenifer McIntyre, Washington State University, Puyallup Research & Extension Service; David H. Baldwin, Northwest Fisheries Science Center; David A. Beauchamp, U.S. Geological Survey, WA Cooperative Fish & Wildlife Research Unit; Nathaniel L. Scholz, NOAA, Northwest Fisheries Science Center
9:30 AM
Avoidance of Salmonids to Copper: Does the BLM-Based Water Quality Criteria Provide Protection? William J. Adams, Rio Tinto; Joeseph Meyer, ARCADIS U.S., Inc.
9:45 AM
Morning Break
10:15 AM
Protectiveness of Water Quality Criteria for Copper in Western United States Waters Relative to Olfactory Responses in Pacific Salmon David K. DeForest, Windward Environmental; Robert W. Gensemer, GEI Consultants; Eric J. Van Genderen, International Zinc Association; Joseph W. Gorsuch, Copper Development Association Inc.
10:30 AM
Challenges for Implementation of Copper Aquatic Life Criteria Using the Biotic Ligand Model: What Are We Waiting for? Robert W. Gensemer, GEI Consultants; Stephanie Baker, GEI Consultants; Steve Canton, GEI Consultants; Joseph W. Gorsuch, Copper Development Association Inc.
10:45 AM
Should Lakes be Used for Mine Waste Disposal? David Chambers, Center for Science in Public Participation
11:00 AM
21st Century Design Concepts for Mitigating the Impacts of Metal Mines on Fish and Fish Habitat – a British Columbia Perspective Ken Brouwer, Knight Piésold Ltd.; Greg Smyth, Knight Piésold Ltd.; Oscar Gustafson, Knight Piésold Ltd.
11:15 AM
Comparison of Predicted and Actual Water Quality at Hard Rock Mines Ann S. Maest, Stratus Consulting; Jim Kuipers, Kuipers and Associates
11:30 AM
Cleaning up after Mother Nature- the Red Dog Mine Experience Jonathan Houghton, Pentec Environmental
11:45 AM
Restoring Trout Habitat in a Landscape of Western Abandoned Mines Pam Elkovich, Trout Unlimited; Rob Roberts, Trout Unlimited
12:00 PM
Lunch Break
1:15 PM
Navigating Liability Issues for Good Samaritan Clean-Ups Elizabeth Russell, Trout Unlimited; Warren Colyer, Trout Unlimited
1:30 PM
"Removing a Dam, Restoring a River: The Story of Milltown, Montana" Diana Hammer, US EPA; Robert M. Hughes, Amnis Opes Institute
2:15 PM
Using Otolith Microchemistry as a Proxy for the Environmental Effects of Metal Mining Lisa A. Friedrich, Department of Fisheries and Oceans; Norman M. Halden, University of Manitoba; Vince Palace, Department of Fisheries and Oceans
2:30 PM
Teaching Alaska's Miners about Alaska's Fisheries Stephen T. Grabacki, GRAYSTAR Pacific Seafood, Ltd.
See more of: Symposium Submissions