Toxicity of five forest insecticides to cutthroat trout and two species of aquatic invertebrates

Bulletin of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology
By:  and 



The Northern Rocky Mountain region has had scattered infestation of the western spruce budworm Christoneura occidentalis since the early 1900's (U.S. DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE (USDA) 1976b). On the basis of aerial surveys in 1975, TUNNOCK et al. (1976), estimated that budworm defoliation occurred on 2,278,804 acres of six National Forests in Montana. Since the use of DDT was banned in 1972, there has been a need to develop alternative insecticides with the efficacy of DDT but without its environmental risk. These insecticides must be effective in controlling the budworm, but should not persist in the environment or be toxic to other organisms. The organophosphate and carbamate insecticides are relatively nonpersistent and generally present only a moderate hazard to fish when applied according to label recommendations. The USDA Forest Service has been investigating the effectiveness of these two classes of insecticides against the budworm, and the Columbia National Fisheries Research Laboratory of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has been cooperating with the Forest Service conducted pilot control projects in eastern Montana in 1975 and 1976 to determine the efficacy and environmental impact of acephate, carbaryl, and trichlorfon in controlling the western budworm (USDA 1976 b). In 1975, a similar type project was carried out in Maine with aminocarb, fenitrothion, and trichlorfon (USDA 1976 a).

Acephate, fenitrothion, and trichlorfon (organophosphate insecticides) and aminocarb and carbaryl (carbamate insecticides) were selected for toxicity tests against cutthroat trout (Salmo clarki), a stonefly (Pteronarcella badia), and a freshwater amphipod (Gammarus pseudolimnaeus) edemic in streams of the northern Rocky Mountains. Populations of cutthroat trout inhabit lakes and streams in the Rocky Mountains which include some of the most pristine habitat and fisheries in North America. Pteronarcella and Gammarus provide forage for cutthroat trout and feed on decaying vegetation in riffle areas in streams and rivers. Stonefly naiads and amphipods were selected as test organisms because of their importance as trout food and their wide distribution in mountain stream communities. We determined the effect of various water types representing different biogeographical areas in the Intermountain West on the toxicity of these five forest insecticides.

Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Toxicity of five forest insecticides to cutthroat trout and two species of aquatic invertebrates
Series title Bulletin of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology
DOI 10.1007/BF01985619
Volume 25
Issue 1
Year Published 1980
Language English
Publisher Springer-Verlag
Contributing office(s) Columbia Environmental Research Center
Description 9 p.
First page 846
Last page 854
Online Only (Y/N) N
Additional Online Files (Y/N) N