Uptake of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and organochlorine pesticides (OCPs) by triolein-containing semipermeable membrane devices (SPMDs) and by crucian carp (Carassius carassius) was studied in Taihu Lake, a shallow, freshwater lake in China. Crucian carp and SPMDs were deployed side by side for 32 d. The first-order uptake rate constants of individual PAHs and OCPs for the two matrices were calculated and compared to relate the amounts of chemicals accumulated by the matrices to dissolved water concentrations. On a wet-weight basis, total concentrations of PAHs and OCPs in crucian carp fillets averaged 49.5 and 13.6 ng/g, respectively, after the 32-d exposure, whereas concentrations in whole SPMDs averaged 716.9 and 62.3 ng/g, respectively. The uptake rate constants of PAHs and OCPs by SPMDs averaged seven- and fivefold higher, respectively, than those for crucian carp; however, the patterns of uptake rate constants derived from test chemical concentrations in the crucian carp and SPMDs were similar. Although equilibrium was not reached for some PAHs and OCPs during the 32-d exposure period, a reasonably good correlation between the concentration factors (CFs) and octanol/water partition coefficient (K ow) values of PAHs and OCPs in SPMDs (r = 0.86, p < 0.001) was observed when potential sorption to dissolved organic carbon was taken into account. Similar efforts to correlate the CFs and Kow values of PAHs and OCPs in crucian carp (r = 0.75, p < 0.001) were less successful, likely because of PAH metabolism by finfish. Overall, the present results suggest that SPMDs may serve as a surrogate for contaminant monitoring with fish in freshwater lake environments. ?? 2007 SETAC.