A non-lethal biopsy method for monitoring
mercury (Hg) concentrations in smallmouth bass (Micropterus
dolomieu; smallmouth) from the Eleven Point
River in southern Missouri USA was evaluated. A biopsy
punch was used to remove a muscle tissue plug from the
area immediately below the anterior dorsal fin of 31
smallmouth. An additional 35 smallmouth (controls) were
held identically except that no tissue plug was removed.
After sampling, all fish were held in a concrete hatchery
raceway for 6 weeks. Mean survival at the end of the
holding period was 97 % for both groups. Smallmouth
length, weight and Fulton’s condition factor at the end of
the holding period were also similar between plugged and
non-plugged controls, indicating that the biopsy procedure
had minimal impact on growth under these conditions.
Tissue plug Hg concentrations were similar to smallmouth
Hg data obtained in previous years by removing the entire
fillet for analysis.
Additional publication details
Implementation of a non-lethal biopsy punch monitoring program for mercury in smallmouth bass, Micropterus dolomieu Lacepede, from the Eleven Point River, Missouri