To explain the variation in growth and in concentration of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) among individual fish, an individual-based model (IBM) was applied to the lake trout (Salvelinus namaycush) population in Lake Michigan. The IBM accurately represented the variation in growth exhibited by the different age classes of lake trout. Uncertainty analysis of the IBM revealed that mean PCB concentration for the lake trout population was most sensitive to PCB concentration in their prey. The variability in PCB concentration among lake trout individuals was not adequately explained by the IBM, unless variation in prey fish PCBs was included in the model. To accomplish this, the simulated lake trout population was divided into subsets subjected to different levels of PCB concentration in the prey fish. Thus, model results indicated that variability in prey fish PCB concentration was an important component of the variation in PCB concnetration observed among individual lake trout comprising the Lake Michigan population.