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This article in JEQ

  1. Vol. 33 No. 5, p. 1752-1764
    Received: July 31, 2003

    * Corresponding author(s): fmatsumura@ucdavis.edu
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Distribution of Polychlorinated Biphenyls and Chlorinated Pesticide Residues in Trout in the Sierra Nevada

  1. Kazutoshi Ohyama,
  2. Jeff Angermann,
  3. Debra Y. Dunlap and
  4. Fumio Matsumura *
  1. Department of Environmental Toxicology and the Center for Ecological Health Research, University of California, One Shields Avenue, Davis, CA 95616


Organochlorine compounds are known to be atmospherically transported to long distances from their original sources. To understand the influence of California's Sierra Nevada range on the air transport and subsequent distribution pattern of some of these residues within the range, we have chosen salmonid fish as an indicator species. Fish were collected from 10 locations throughout the northern and central Sierra Nevada and polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB), toxaphene, chlordane, and DDT [1,1,1-trichloro, 2,2′-bis (p-chlorophenyl) ethane] residues in muscle tissue were analyzed. Rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) were found in all sampling locations, and therefore analyses mainly focused on this species. When similar-sized rainbow trout samples from several similar oligotrophic, high-altitude lakes and streams were compared, it became apparent that altitude is one of the factors affecting the residual levels of PCB (r 2 = 0.882), but not for total DDT, toxaphene, or chlordane in trout. Analysis of correlations among these four organochlorine compound residue groups indicated that there are modest correlations in patterns of distribution between chlordane vs. toxaphene (r 2 = 0.345), and chlordane vs. total DDT (r 2 = 0.239), but toxaphene residues are not correlated with PCB or total DDT. In view of significant correlation to the altitude it is concluded that PCB residue in rainbow trout is a good monitoring tool for studying the effect of high-altitude mountain ranges on the long-range transport and distribution of those persistent pollutants.

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