Technical Bulletin No. 0010: Aquatic Biology Research Report: The Toxicity of Kraft Pulping Wastes to Typical Fish Food Organisms

  The problem of the effect of pulp and paper mill wastes on stream biota has two general aspects which are a result of the Inherent nature of these wastes. In the first place, the wastes may produce adverse conditions in the stream by causing oxygen depletion. In the second place, the wastes may contain substances which are toxic to aquatic inhabitants. In either instance, the end result is the same - the creation of a stream environment unfavorable for the welfare of the inhabitants thereof. A considerable amount of work has been done at The Institute of Paper Chemistry in determining the toxicity of kraft pulp mill wastes to fresh water fish, particularly the group of minnows called shiners. This work was done for the Wisconsin Kraft Committee on Waste Disposal and reports thereon have been made available to the members of the National Council for Stream Improvement. The so-called "web of life" that exists in an aquatic environment is a complex series of relationships between the species constituting the links in the chain. The minnows, or fish generally, form a single link or, in other words, only one segment of the entire picture. The nature of the aquatic environment is such that species dwelling therein are Interdependent and a given population, therefore, is the result of a series of equilibria established by the struggle for existence between the species, or members of a single species. These equilibria are usually very delicately balanced and an environmental factor which will cause an unbalance in one segment of the chain may well result in throwing the entire scheme out of relation.