This study was implemented to determine if western mosquitofish (Gambusia affinis) populations in the Grassland Water District suffer from impaired reproduction because of seleniferous inflows of agricultural drainwater from the Grassland Bypass Project. During June to July 2001, laboratory trials with pregnant female fish collected from two seleniferous treatment sites exposed to selenium-laden drainwater and two nonseleniferous reference sites yielded fry that averaged >96% survival at birth. In addition, none of the newborn fry exhibited evidence of teratogenesis, a typical consequence of selenium toxicity. Chemical analysis of postpartum female fish and their newborn fry indicated that mosquitofish from seleniferous sites accumulated relatively high body burdens of selenium (3.96 to 17.5 ??g selenium/g in postpartum female fish and 5.35 to 29.2 ??g selenium/g in their fry), whereas those from nonseleniferous sites contained lower body burdens (0.40 to 2.72 ??g selenium/g in postpartum female fish and 0.61 to 4.68 ??g selenium/g in their fry). Collectively, these results strongly suggest that mosquitofish inhabiting selenium- contaminated waters are not experiencing adverse reproductive effects at current levels of selenium exposure.
Additional Publication Details
Reproductive status of western mosquitofish inhabiting selenium- contaminated waters in the Grassland Water District, Merced County, California
Archives of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology