Section 7
Chapter 6,044

Organochlorine chemical residues in bluegills lepomis macrochirus and common carp cyprinus carpio from the irrigated san joaquin valley floor california usa

Saiki, M.K.; Schmitt, C.J.

Archives of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology 15(4): 357-366


ISSN/ISBN: 0090-4341
Accession: 006043783

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Samples of bluegills (Lepomis macrochirus) and common carp (Cyprinus carpio) collected from the San Joaquin River and two tributaries (Merced River and Salt Slough) in California were analyzed for 21 oranochlorine chemical residues by gas chromatography to determine if pesticide contamination was confined to downstream sites exposed to irrigated agriculture, or if nonirrigated upstream sites were also contaminated. Residues of p,p'-DDE were detected in all samples of both species. Six other contaminants were also present in both species at one or more of the collection sites: chlordane (cis-chlordane + trans-nonachlor); p,p'-DDD; o,p'-DDT; p,p'-DDT; DCPA (dimethyl tetrachloroterephthalene); and dieldrin. Concentrations of most of these residues were generally higher in carp than in bluegills; residues of other compounds were found only in carp: .alpha.-BHC (.alpha.-benzenehexachloride), Arochlor 1260, and toxaphene. Concentrations of most organochlorines in fish increased from upstream to downstream. Water quality variables that are influenced by irrigation return flows (e.g., conductivity, turbidity, and total alkalinity) also increased from upstream to downstream and were significantly correlated (P < 0.05) with organochlorine residue levels in the fish. In carp, concentrations of two residues -.SIGMA.DDT (p,p'-DDD + p,p'-DDE + p,p'-DDT; 1.43 to 2.21 mg/kg wet weight) and toxaphene (3.12 mg/kg wet weight)-approached the highest levels reported by the National Pesticide Monitoring Program for fish from other intensively farmed watershed of the United States in 1980 to 1981, and surpassed criteria for whole-body residue concentrations recommended by the National Academy of Sciences and National Academy of Engineers for the protection of piscivorous wildlife.

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