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The vulnerability of fry of Lake Michigan lake trout (Salvelinus namaycush) to predation by rainbow trout (Salmo gairdneri) was tested after the fry had been exposed to PCB's, DDE, and a combination of these contaminants in both water and food at concentrations corresponding to ambient levels (1X) in water and plankton in Lake Michigan and at levels 5 and 25 times higher. Vulnerability of the fry, measured as the ratio of escapes to predator attacks, was not significantly increased by either 90 or 165 days of exposure to the contaminants at any of the concentrations tested, and no behavioral differences were observed between control and exposed fry in their reaction to predators. Exposure to PCB's and DDE at environmental and higher concentrations thus did not affect the vulnerability of lake trout fry to predation. This observation suggests that the failure of lake trout reproduction in Lake Michigan was not caused by contaminant-induced reductions in the ability of the fry to escape predators.
Additional Publication Details
Vulnerability of young lake trout to predation after chronic exposure to PCB's and DDE