Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) has been the predominant piscivore in Lakes Michigan, Huron, and Ontario since the 1970s, and therefore accurate quantification of its energy budget is needed for effective management of Great Lakes fisheries. A new approach of evaluating a fish bioenergetics model in the field involves field estimation of the efficiency with which the fish retains PCBs from its food. We used diet information, PCB determinations in both chinook salmon and their prey, and bioenergetics modeling to generate a field estimate of the efficiency with which Lake Michigan chinook salmon retain PCBs from their food. Our field estimate is the most reliable field estimate to date because (a) the estimate was based on a relatively high number (N = 142) of PCB determinations for chinook salmon from Wisconsin waters of Lake Michigan in 1985, (b) a relatively long time series (1978-1988) of detailed observations on chinook salmon diet in Lake Michigan was available, and (c) the estimate incorporated new information from analyses of chinook salmon age and growth during the 1980s and 1990s in Lake Michigan. We estimated that chinook salmon from Lake Michigan retain 53% of the PCBs that are contained within their food.
Additional publication details
Field estimate of net trophic transfer efficiency of PCBs to Lake Michigan chinook salmon from their prey