Radioactively contaminated areas: Bioindicator species and biomarkers of effect in an early warning scheme for a preliminary risk assessment.
Operation of the Gunnar uranium mine, in nothern Saskatchewan, Canada, from 1955 to 1964, resulted in the deposition of radioactive tailings in Langley Bay, a small bay connected to Lake Athabasca. Previous publications have described the contamination of the sediments, water, macrophytes and fish of this area. The present study compares the parasite infestations, blood hematocrit, histopathology and condition factor (K) of the Langley Bay whitefish and northern pike populations with these factors measured for control populations from Lake Athabasca. No significant differences could be found, in any of the physiological parameters measured, between the contaminated and control populations.