A preliminary assessment was made in 1992 of chlorinated organic compounds in sediments and in livers of striped bass from the San Francisco Bay-Delta Estuary. Samples of sediment and striped bass livers contained DDT (ethane, 1,1,1-trichloro-2,2-bis (p-chlorophenyl)-) and its degradation products, DDD (ethane, 1,1-dichloro-2,2-bis(p-chlorophenyl)-) and DDE (ethylene, 1,1-dichloro-2,2-bis (p-chlorophenyl)-); PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls); alpha and gamma chlordane, and cis and trans nonachlor. In addition, the livers of striped bass contained small concentrations of DCPA (dimethyl tetrachloroterephthalate), a pre-emergent herbicide. Agricultural run-off from the Sacramento and San Joaquin Rivers, as well as atmospheric deposition, are probably responsible for a low chronic background of DDT in sediments throughout San Francisco Bay. Larger concentrations of DDT in sediment near Richmond in the Central Bay, and Coyote Creek in the South Bay may be derived from point sources. Ratios of pentachloro isomers of PCBs to hexachloro isomers in the South Bay sediments were different from those in the Central and North Bay, suggesting either differences in microbial activity in the sediments or different source inputs of PCBs. Concentrations of alpha chlordane in livers of striped bass were greater than those of gamma chlordane, which suggests a greater environmental stability and persistence of alpha chlordane. Trans nonachlor, a minor component of technical chlorodane, was present in greater concentrations than alpha and gamma chlordane and cis nonachlor. Trans nonachlor is more resistant to metabolism than alpha and gamma chlordane and cis nonachlor, and serves as an environmentally stable marker compound of chlordane contamination in the estuary. Chlorinated organic compounds have bioaccumulated in the livers of striped bass. These compounds may contribute to the decline of the striped bass in San Francisco Bay-Delta Estuary.
Additional publication details
Occurrence and distribution of organochlorine compounds in sediment and livers of striped bass (Morone saxatilis) from the San Francisco Bay-Delta Estuary