Barnett, C.L. et al

Elemental concentrations in fish from lakes in Northwest England

Data comprise concentrations of elements in ashed fish sampled from lakes in the English Lake District in 2012 and 2013. Fish were collected from three lakes (Windermere, Bassenthwaite Lake and Derwent Water) by the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology (CEH) Lake Ecosystems group. Fish species collected were Roach (Rutilus rutilus), Perch (Perca fluviatilis), Ruffe (Gymnocephalus cernuus), Brown trout (Salmo trutta), Pike (Esox lucius) and Vendace (Coregonus albula). All samples were ashed prior to analysis by ICPMS or ICPOES to determine elemental concentrations.

Publication date: 2015-03-04

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You must cite: Barnett, C.L.; Wells, C.; Thacker, S.; Guyatt, H.J.; Fletcher, J.M.; Lawlor, A.J.; Winfield, I.J.; Beresford, N.A. (2015). Elemental concentrations in fish from lakes in Northwest England. NERC Environmental Information Data Centre.



Study area
Temporal extent
2012-01-02    to    …


Fish were collected in 2012 and 2013 from Windermere, Bassenthwaite Lake and Derwent Water in the English Lake District. Species collected were: Roach (Rutilus rutilus), Perch (Perca fluviatilis), Ruffe (Gymnocephalus cernuus), Brown trout (Salmo trutta), Pike (Esox lucius) and Vendace (Coregonus albula). Samples were frozen to minus 20 degrees Centigrade as soon as possible after collection. Fish samples were thoroughly defrosted, weighed and gutted prior to the whole-fish being ashed at 500 degrees Centigrade (°C). The ash was then weighed. Ashed fish samples were digested using an aqua regia reagent (fresh 3:1 mixture of concentrated HNO3 and HCl aristar grade) at 175°C for 12 minutes using a microwave oven (CEM, MarsXpress). Analysis of the ashed fish digests was then conducted by ICPMS (Perkin Elmer, NeXION 300D) or ICPOES (Perkin Elmer, 7300 DV). ICPMS measurements were made using two types of instrument operation, either quantitative or semi-quantitative (using Perkin Elmer Total Quant software). The quantitative measurements were made using external calibration after spiking the digests with 10 microgram per litre Ga, In and Re as internal standards to compensate for instrumental drift and matrix effects. The semi-quantitative measurements were made using the ICPMS instrument operating in kinetic energy discrimination (KED) mode with the addition of helium gas. The semi-quantitative and quantitative modes differed as the former used an element concentration to intensity response curve to extrapolate concentrations over a wide mass range. ICPMS and ICPOES instrument limits of detection (LOD) were calculated using mean and standard deviation measurements for the digestion reagent blank (yb, plus sb where yb is blank concentration and sb is three standard deviations of the blank). Method LODs were then calculated taking into account the dilution arising from the digestion procedure. Note that for some elements determined using the semi-quantitative ICPMS method it was not possible to determine instrument LODs from the analysis of a digestion reagent blank and in these cases the instrument LODs were estimated from an assessment of instrument sensitivity and assigned a values of 0.001 microgram per litre (equivalent to a mean method LOD of 0.001 milligrams per kilogram). Results are reported as milligrams per kilogram fresh weight (converted from ash weight using fresh to ash weight ratio for each sample).


Barnett, C.L.
Centre for Ecology & Hydrology
Wells, C.
Centre for Ecology & Hydrology
Thacker, S.
Centre for Ecology & Hydrology
Guyatt, H.J.
Centre for Ecology & Hydrology
Fletcher, J.M.
Centre for Ecology & Hydrology
Lawlor, A.J.
Centre for Ecology & Hydrology
Winfield, I.J.
Centre for Ecology & Hydrology
Beresford, N.A.
Centre for Ecology & Hydrology

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Environmental Information Data Centre
NERC Environmental Information Data Centre
Environmental Information Data Centre


Spatial representation type
Tabular (text)
Spatial reference system
OSGB 1936 / British National Grid


Topic categories
Other keywords
Brown trout
CEH Topic
Pollution & Environmental Risk
Water quality
Shore Section
Discipline keywords
Environmental monitoring facilities
Place keywords
Lake District
Bassenthwaite Lake
Derwent Water
Taxon keywords
Coregonus albula
Esox lucius
Salmo trutta
Gymnocephalus cernua
Perca fluviatilis
Rutilus rutilus

Dataset identifiers



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