Efforts to restore anadromous striped bass (Morone saxatilis) populations by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and other agencies over the past 20 years have concentrated on hatchery culture to supplement dwindling natural reproduction. Adult fish captured for artificial spawning are stressed by handling and crowding in rearing ponds and are often exposed to therapeutants, anesthetics, disinfectants, and herbicides used in fish culture. We determined the toxicity of 17 fishery chemicals (chloramine-T, erythromycin, formalin, Hyamine 3500, Roccal, malachite green, sulfamerazine, benzocaine, etomidate, Finquel (MS-222) , metomidate, quinaldine sulfate, chlorine, potassium permanganate, Aquazine, copper sulfate, and Rodeo) to striped bass fry (average weight = 1 g) in reconstituted water (total hardness 40 mg/L) at 12 degree C. The 96-h LC50's (concentration calculated to produce 50% mortality in a population) ranged from 0.129 mg/L for malachite green to 340 mg/L for erythromycin. We also determined the effects of selected levels of water temperature, hardness, and pH on the toxicity of chloramine-T, formalin, malachite green, and Roccal. There were no differences in toxicity for any of the chemicals at any water quality variable tested except for chloramine-T, which was about 25 times more toxic in soft, acid water than in soft, alkaline water. Our data show that the striped bass is as sensitive to fishery chemicals as rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss), but is generally less resistant than bluegill (Lepomis macrochirus) and channel catfish (Ictalurus punctatus).
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Sensitivity of juvenile striped bass to chemicals used in aquaculture