Most of the polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) body burden accumulated by coho salmon (Oncorhynchus kisutch) from the Laurentian Great Lakes is from their food. We used diet information, PCB determinations in both coho salmon and their prey, and bioenergetics modeling to estimate the efficiency with which Lake Michigan coho salmon retain PCBs from their food. Our estimate was the most reliable estimate to date because (a) the coho salmon and prey fish sampled during our study were sampled in spring, summer, and fall from various locations throughout the lake, (b) detailed measurements were made on the PCB concentrations of both coho salmon and prey fish over wide ranges in fish size, and (c) coho salmon diet was analyzed in detail from April through November over a wide range of salmon size from numerous locations throughout the lake. We estimated that coho salmon from Lake Michigan retain 50% of the PCBs that are contained within their food.
Additional publication details
Net trophic transfer efficiency of PCBs to Lake Michigan coho salmon from their prey