The utility of using fish held in cages for investigating the potential effects of industrial and municipal effluents has been demonstrated. These types of exposures are able to control the influence of some confounding factors and also provide a measure of certainty with regard to exposure. However, Canada's current Environmental Effects Monitoring (EEM) Program for metal mines does not accept caged fish as a viable alternative for use in place of wild fish surveys. Concerns appear to be focused on the confounding influences of confinement stress on typical EEM endpoints. Confinement stress may be reduced in smaller-bodied fish relative to larger fish, increasing the relevance of their use for EEM. A standardized technique for deploying small-bodied fish in cages that may be useful for EEM programs is described.

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