Effects on hatching and development of fertilized eggs in adult razorback sucker (Xyrauchen texanus) exposed to selenium in flooded bottomland sites near Grand Junction, Colorado, were determined. After 9 months exposure, fish were collected and induced to spawn and eggs collected for inorganic element analyses. A 9-day egg study was conducted with five spawns from Horsethief ponds, six spawns from Adobe Creek channel, and four spawns from North Pond using a reference water and site waters. Selenium concentrations in eggs were 6.5 ??g/g from Horsethief, 46 ??g/g from Adobe Creek, 38 ??g/g from North Pond, and 6.0 ??g/g from brood stock. Eggs from young adults had a smaller diameter and higher moisture content than brood stock. There were no differences among the four sources in viability, survival, hatch, hatchability, or mortality of deformed embryos or larvae. Adobe Creek larvae had more deformed embryos in eggs held in site water than held in reference water. There were significant negative correlations between selenium concentrations in adult muscle plugs and percent hatch, egg diameter, and deformities in embryos. Results from this study suggest that selenium contamination in parts of the upper basin of the Colorado River should be a major concern to recovery efforts for endangered fish.
Additional publication details
Selenium impacts on razorback sucker, Colorado River, Colorado: II. Eggs