We determined polychlorinated biphenyls (pcbs) in emergent mayflies (hexagenia bilineata) from a 1250-km reach of the upper mississippi river (umr). Total pcb concentrations (sum of 125 congeners) ranged from 0.21 To 4.1 Mu g/g of dry weight (1.2-29 mu g/g of lipid weight). Concentrations were highest in pools near the twin cities and the quad cities metropolitan areas. Longitudinal movement of pcbs was extensive downstream from the twin cities (175-320 km) but was not apparent downstream from the quad cities. The pcb composition of mayflies was relatively homogeneous throughout most of the river. However, the congener composition in mayflies from two distant locations differed markedly from the other samples and contained a greater abundance of lower molecular weight congeners. Recent pcb discharges from point and nonpoint sources may account for these differences. Emergent mayflies seem to be a useful indicator of pcb contamination of the umr.
Additional publication details
Polychlorinated biphenyl congeners in emergent mayflies from the upper Mississippi River