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Environmental Management

, Volume 14, Issue 3, pp 389–396 | Cite as

Integration of long-term fish kill data with ambient water quality monitoring data and application to water quality management

  • Alan H. Trim
  • James M. Marcus
Research

Abstract

Almost half (354) of all fish kills (805) in South Carolina, USA, between 1978 and 1988 occurred in the coastal zone. These kills were analyzed for causative, spatial, and temporal associations as a distinct data set and as one integrated with ambient water quality monitoring data. Estuarine kills as a result of natural causes accounted for 42.8% followed by man-induced (35.1%) and undetermined causes (22.1%).

Although general pesticide usage was responsible for 53.9% of man-induced kills, weed control activities around resorts and municipal areas accounted for slightly more kills (20.9%) than did agricultural (19.8%) or vector control (13.2%) uses. A dramatic decline in agricultural-related kills has been observed since 1986 as the integrated pest management approach was adopted by many farmers. When taken with the few kills (12.0%) resulting from wastewaters, this suggests that these two land-use activities have been successfully managed via existing programs (IPM and NPDES, respectively) to minimize their contributions to estuarine fish kills.

Ambient trend monitoring data demonstrated no coastal-wide dispersion of pesticide pollution. These data confirmed the nature of fish kills to be site-specific, near-field events most closely associated with the contiguous land-use practices and intensities. Typically, fish kill data are considered as event-specific data limited to the bounds of that event only. Our analysis has shown, however, that a long-term data set, when integrated with ambient water quality data, can assist in regulatory and resource management decisions for both short- and long-term planning and protection applications.

Key words

Fish kills Water quality Coastal zone management Monitoring Pesticides 

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag New York Inc. 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alan H. Trim
    • 1
  • James M. Marcus
    • 2
  1. 1.Post, Buckley, Schuh and JerniganColumbiaUSA
  2. 2.Fluor Daniel, PW03EGreenvilleUSA

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