Most of the PCB body burden in lake trout (Salvelinus namaycush) of the Great Lakes is from their food. PCB concentrations were determined in lake trout from three different locations in Lake Michigan during 1994-1995, and lake trout diets were analyzed at all three locations. The PCB concentrations were also determined in alewife (Alosa pseudoharengus), rainbow smelt (Osmerus mordax), bloater (Coregonus hoyi), slimy sculpin (Cottus cognatus), and deepwater sculpin (Myoxocephalus thompsoni), five species of prey fish eaten by lake trout in Lake Michigan, at three nearshore sites in the lake. Despite the lack of significant differences in the PCB concentrations of alewife, rainbow smelt, bloater, slimy sculpin, and deepwater sculpin from the southeastern nearshore site near Saugatuck (Michigan) compared with the corresponding PCB concentrations from the northwestern nearshore site near Sturgeon Bay (Wisconsin), PCB concentrations in lake trout at Saugatuck were significantly higher than those at Sturgeon Bay. The difference in the lake trout PCB concentrations between Saugatuck and Sturgeon Bay could be explained by diet differences. The diet of lake trout at Saugatuck was more concentrated in PCBs than the diet of Sturgeon Bay lake trout, and therefore lake trout at Saugatuck were more contaminated in PCBs that Sturgeon Bay lake trout. These findings were useful in interpreting the long-term monitoring series for contaminants in lake trout at both Saugatuck and the Wisconsin side of the lake.
Additional publication details
Spatial patterns in PCB concentrations of Lake Michigan lake trout