Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

Selenium and other trace metals in fish inhabiting a fly ash stream: implications for regulatory tissue thresholds.

Abstract

Bluegill sunfish (Lepomis macrochirus) and caddis flies (Trichoptera: Hydropsychidae) were collected from a stream receiving fly ash discharge and nearby reference streams to determine tissue levels of selenium (Se) and other metals, and compare these levels to published "no effect" thresholds. Stingy Run samples contained elevated levels of several metals. Mean Se concentrations in bullhead minnow whole body, bluegill whole body, bluegill ovary, and testes tissues were 44.6, 17.3, 32.5, and 37.1 µg/g (dry wt), respectively. These levels were 2-3 times higher than proposed toxic thresholds for fish whole body (7.9 µg/g) and ovary (17 µg/g). Although monitoring indicated a persistent bluegill population, some reproductive impairment may have occurred. Tissue residue data should be treated with caution because feral fish may accumulate several metals. In Stingy Run, persistence of a bluegill population may be explained by antagonistic interactions with other metals that were also elevated in the fish.