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Pesticide pressure and fish farming in barrage pond in Northeastern France Part I: site characterization and water quality

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Fish farming in barrage pond is a rearing system commonly used worldwide. Obtaining good water quality is essential to improve sustainability of these ecosystems, both for health of fish consumers and environmental considerations. However, ponds are often located in agricultural landscape, but few study reports impact of pesticide pressure on these ecosystems. This study characterizes five sites in Northeastern France. This work establishes an initial framework for pesticide monitoring with the aim to improve understanding of the fate of pesticides in ponds.


This framework is based on surveys indicating managements and Geographical Information System (GIS) for five ponds and their watersheds (sites: C-0, C-25, C-45, C-75 and C-85) and completes with some analysis of a large spectrum of pesticide residues in surface waters.


Watersheds show a gradient of crop proportion ranging from 0% to 82% of the watershed area, mainly rapeseed, wheat, barley and maize. Ponds were representative of local Northeastern France management. Many pesticides, and also nutrients, were measured in water with concentrations varying between sites and seasons. The sum of quantified molecules ranged from 0.17 μg/l for site C-0 (March) to 8.81 μg/l for site C-25 (October). Concentrations of metaldehyde, quinmerac, isoproturon and bentazon were sometimes above 1 μg/l.


There is a strong connection between pond and watershed, due to water supply throughout the fish production cycle. Sites with small pond/big watershed are the most exposed to acute contamination a few days after spraying because water discharges are not diluted.

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The authors are grateful to the “Agence de l’Eau Rhin-Meuse” and the “Zone Atelier Moselle” for their financial support of this project. They sincerely thank Cindy Messana for her technical assistance, farmers for their participation to surveys and fish farmers for their help during fishing. The French ONEMA Agency (Office National de l’Eau et des Milieux Aquatiques) is also acknowledged to its technical assistance.

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Correspondence to Angélique Lazartigues.

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Responsible editor: Philippe Garrigues

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Lazartigues, A., Banas, D., Feidt, C. et al. Pesticide pressure and fish farming in barrage pond in Northeastern France Part I: site characterization and water quality. Environ Sci Pollut Res 19, 2802–2812 (2012).

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  • Pesticides
  • Pond
  • Shallow lake
  • Watershed
  • Management
  • Surveys
  • GIS
  • Water quality