Selenium and other elements in freshwater fishes from the irrigated San Joaquin Valley, California

Science of the Total Environment
By: , and 



Arsenic (As), chromium (Cr), mercury (Hg), and selenium (Se) were measured in composite whole-body samples of five fishes — bluegill (Lepomis macrochirus), common carp (Cyprinus carpio), mosquitofish (Gambusia affinis), largemouth bass (Micropterus salmoides), and Sacramento blackfish (Orthodon microlepidotus) — from the San Joaquin River system to determine if concentrations were elevated from exposure to agricultural subsurface (tile) drainage. Except for Cr, the concentrations of these elements in fishes from one or more sites were elevated; however, only Se approached concentrations that may adversely affect survival, growth, or reproduction in warm water fishes. Moreover, only Se among the four measured elements exhibited a geographic (spatial) pattern that coincided with known inflows of tile drainage to the San Joaquin River and its tributaries. Historical data from the Grassland Water District (Grasslands; a region exposed to concentrated tile drainage) suggested that concentrations of Se in fishes were at maximum during or shortly after 1984 and have been slightly lower since then. The recent decline of Se concentrations in fishes from the Grasslands could be temporary if additional acreages of irrigated lands in this portion of the San Joaquin Valley must be tile-drained to protect agricultural crops from rising groundwater tables.

Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Selenium and other elements in freshwater fishes from the irrigated San Joaquin Valley, California
Series title Science of the Total Environment
DOI 10.1016/0048-9697(92)90487-D
Volume 126
Issue 1992
Year Published 1992
Language English
Publisher Elsevier
Contributing office(s) Columbia Environmental Research Center, Western Ecological Research Center
Description 29 p.
First page 109
Last page 137
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