Juvenile chinook salmon, Oncorhynchus tshawytscha (Walbaum), were held in 8-11??C freshwater, starved for 3 days and subjected to a low-water stressor to determine the relationship between the general stress response and oxidative stress. Lipid peroxidation (LPO) levels (lipid hydroperoxides) were measured in kidney, liver and brain samples taken at the beginning of the experiment (0-h unstressed controls) and at 6, 24 and 48 h after application of a continuous low-water stressor. Tissue samples were also taken at 48 h from fish that had not been exposed to the stressor (48-h unstressed controls). Exposure to the low-water stressor affected LPO in kidney and brain tissues. In kidney, LPO decreased 6 h after imposition of the stressor; similar but less pronounced decreases also occurred in the liver and brain. At 48 h, LPO increased (in comparison with 6-h stressed tissues) in the kidney and brain. In comparison with 48-h unstressed controls, LPO levels were higher in the kidney and brain of stressed fish. Although preliminary, results suggest that stress can cause oxidative tissue damage in juvenile chinook salmon. Measures of oxidative stress have shown similar responses to stress in mammals; however, further research is needed to determine the extent of the stress-oxidative stress relationship and the underlying physiological mechanisms in fish.