Swimming performance was measured in fry of lake trout (Salvelinus namaycush) exposed to PCB's, DDE, and a combination of these two contaminants in both food and water at concentrations equal to, and 5 and 25 times higher than, levels found in Lake Michigan water and plankton. Fry were tested after about 50, 110, and 165 days of exposure. We measured swimming performance by forcing the fry to swim through a continuous series of incrementally increased velocities until the fish were exhausted. Although we observed significant differences in swimming performance between a few test groups, we detected no relation between swimming performance of the fry and exposure to PCB's or DDE, or both, at the concentrations tested. Inasmuch as swimming performance apparently was not affected by the levels of contamination by PCB's and DDE in Lake Michigan, impairment of swimming by these contaminants cannot account for the failure of lake trout reproduction in Lake Michigan.
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Federal Government Series
Swimming performance of young lake trout after chronic exposure to PCBs and DDE