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Fish tissue mercury and selenium concentrations in Upper Colorado River Basin: 1962-2011

Data for journal manuscript: Mercury and selenium concentrations in fishes of the Upper Colorado River Basin, southwestern United States: A retrospective assessment


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Day, N.K., Schmidt, T.S., Roberts, J.J., Osmundson, B.C., Willacker, J.J., and Eagles-Smith, C.A., 2020, Fish tissue mercury and selenium concentrations in Upper Colorado River Basin: 1962-2011: U.S. Geological Survey data release,


These data were compiled to study mercury and selenium concentrations in fish species and assemblages in lotic waterbodies across the Upper Colorado River Basin. Data were compiled from State and Federal agencies. This data table contains raw concentration data, as well as standardized concentrations corrected for differences based on sample type (i.e., tissue type), species-specific bioaccumulation rates (Table S1), and fish size (Table S2). The data were used in linear mixed effects models to estimate average mercury and selenium concentration in fish species and in fish assemblages, including fish total length (cm), sampling location (Sub basin name and GPS coordinates), and sampling year (Figures 2,3, and 4 from manuscript).


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The purpose of these data were to investigate mercury and selenium concentrations in fish collected from lotic waterbodies in the Upper Colorado River Basin. To the best of our knowledge and ability, this dataset is all encompassing, including all lotic mercury and selenium concentrations from the Upper Colorado River Basin, and is meant to serve as a complete historic database. Because data collection was performed by many different state and federal agencies over the last ~60 years with different goals in mind, we standardized mercury and selenium concentrations to make them more comparable based on tissue type and fish size. Both the raw values and corrected values are included the data table.


The author(s) of these data request that data users contact them regarding intended use and to assist with understanding limitations and interpretation. Unless otherwise stated, all data, metadata and related materials are considered to satisfy the quality standards relative to the purpose for which the data were collected. Although these data and associated metadata have been reviewed for accuracy and completeness and approved for release by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), no warranty expressed or implied is made regarding the display or utility of the data for other purposes, nor on all computer systems, nor shall the act of distribution constitute any such warranty.

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DOI doi:10.5066/F71N802D

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