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In the laboratory we measured the amounts of dieldrin and p,p'DDT accumulated by fish from contaminated water and food to determine how fish from Lake Michigan accumulate high concentrations of these insecticides from an environment where the concentrations in water are generally less than 0.01 ppb. Eight groups of yearling lake trout (Salvelinus namaycush) were exposed to different combinations of dieldrin and p,p'DDT in water and food. Concentrations of dieldrin and p,p'DDT ranged from 0.006 to 0.010 ppb in water and from 1,700 to 2,300 ppb in food (Oregon moist pellets).
After 152 days of exposure to insecticides in water, fish had accumulated an average of 478 ppb dieldrin or 352 ppb p,p'DDT. Fish exposed to dieldrin and p,p'DDT in food accumulated 470 and 648 ppb, respectively. However, it was difficult to determine exactly how much of either insecticide was accumulated from the food because trace amounts (0.003-0.004 ppb) had leached from food or feces. After exposure to the insecticide was terminated, fish eliminated dieldrin at a much faster rate than p,p'DDT. In fish exposed to a combination of dieldrin and p,p'DDT in water and then held for 125 days in uncontaminated water, the total amount of dieldrin (I?g) declined 89%, but the total amount of p,p'DDT remained unchanged.
We used data from this study to estimate how much p,p'DDT adult Lake Michigan coho salmon (Oncorhynchus kisutch) accumulated from water and from food during a 104-day period (May-August 1968). The estimates suggest that during these months coho salmon accumulated most of the body burden of p,p'DDT from food.
Additional Publication Details
Dieldrin and DDT: accumulation from water and food by lake trout (Salvelinus namaycush) in the laboratory
Proceedings of the Conference on Great Lakes Research