Benzocaine was tested in the laboratory to determine the effective concentrations for anesthetizing juvenile chinook salmon Oncorhynchus tshawytscha an rainbow trout O. mykiss (formerly Salmo gairdneri ). Tests were conducted at three water temperatures, in waters ranging from very soft to very hard, and with groups of rainbow trout from 5 to 47 cm long and chinook salmon 20 cm long. Effective concentrations were defined as those that rendered the fish fully handleable in 3 min or less, allowed recovery of most fish within 10 min, and caused no mortality after 15-min exposures. Concentrations of 25-45 mg/L anesthetized both species over the entire range of conditions tested. Although efficacy was essentially unrelated to species or water quality, it was related to water temperature and size of fish; the concentrations of benzocaine required were highest at the lowest water temperature and for the largest fish.
Additional publication details
Efficacy of benzocaine as an anesthetic for salmonid fishes