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Reproductive health of bass in the potomac, USA, drainage: Part 1. exploring the effects of proximity to wastewater treatment plant discharge

Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry

By:
, , , , ,
DOI: 10.1897/08-433.1

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Abstract

Abstract-Intersex (specifically, testicular oocytes) has been observed in male smalimouth bass (SMB; Micropterus dolomieu) and other centrarchids in the South Branch of the Potomac River, USA, and forks of the Shenandoah River, USA. during the past five years. This condition often is associated with exposure to estrogenic endocrine-disrupting chemicals in some fish species, but such chemicals and their sources have yet to be identified in the Potomac. In an attempt to better understand the plausible causes of this condition, we investigated the reproductive health of bass sampled up- and downstream of wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) effluent point sources on the Potomac River in Maryland, USA. Smallmouth bass were sampled from the Conococheague Creek and the Monocacy River, and largemouth bass (LMB; Micropterus salmoides) were collected near the Blue Plains WWTP on the mainstem of the Potomac River. Chemical analyses of compounds captured in passive samplers at these locations also were conducted. A high prevalence of intersex (82-l00%) was identified in male SMB at all sites regardless of collection area. A lower prevalence of intersex (23%) was identified in male LMB collected at the Blue Plains site. When up- and downstream fish were compared, significant differences were noted only in fish from the Conococheague. Differences included condition factor, gonadosomatic index, plasma vitellogenin concentration, and estrogen to testosterone ratio. In general, chemicals associated with wastewater effluent, storm-water runoff, and agriculture were more prevalent at the downstream sampling sites. An exception was atrazine and its associated metabolites, which were present in greater concentrations at the upstream sites. It appears that proximity to effluent from WWTPs may influence the reproductive health of bass in the Potomac watershed, but inputs from other sources likely contribute to the widespread, high incidence of testicular oocytes. ?? 2009 SETAC.

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Article
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Title:
Reproductive health of bass in the potomac, USA, drainage: Part 1. exploring the effects of proximity to wastewater treatment plant discharge
Series title:
Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry
DOI:
10.1897/08-433.1
Volume
28
Issue:
5
Year Published:
2009
Language:
English
Larger Work Type:
Article
Larger Work Subtype:
Journal Article
Larger Work Title:
Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry
First page:
1072
Last page:
1083
Number of Pages:
12