Illustrated Field Guide for Assessing External and Internal Anomalies in Fish

Information and Technology Report 2002-0007
By: , and 



Procedures are described for processing fish for examination of external and internal anomalies and pathologies indicative of exposure to environmental contaminants and other peturbations. For the procedures described here, fish are captured (preferably by electrofishing) and held alive until processing (generally < 1 h). Fish are weighed, measured, and necropsied, and a scale sample is obtained from for age determination. Information is given for the collection and preservation of tissue samples for histopathological analysis. Photographs of most abnormalities are included along with normal conditions for easier identification of external (oral, head, eye, gill, opercula, and fin) and internal (liver, spleen, gonad, and kidney) anomalies. The report also includes recommendations for record keeping, sample labeling, and shipping records, equipment, supplies,and samples. A list of suggested equipment and supplies for field processing is included as are instructions for cleaning equipment.

Suggested Citation

Smith, S.B., Donahue, A.P., Lipkin, R.J., Blazer, V.S., Schmitt, C.J., and Goede, R.W., 2002, Illustrated field guide for assessing external and internal anomalies in fish: U.S. Geological Survey Information and Technology Report 2002—0007, 46 p.

Table of Contents

  • Abstract
  • Introduction
  • Roles and Responsibilities
  • Equipment and Supplies
  • Record Keeping and Housekeeping Items
  • General Field Procedures
  • Processing Fish
  • Post-collection and Processing Procedures
  • Upon Return from the Field
  • Acknowledgments
  • References
  • Appendix A
  • Appendix B
  • Table 1
  • Box 1
  • Box 2
  • Flow Chart

Additional publication details

Publication type Report
Publication Subtype Federal Government Series
Title Illustrated field guide for assessing external and internal anomalies in fish
Series title Information and Technology Report
Series number 2002-0007
Year Published 2002
Language English
Publisher U.S. Geological Survey
Publisher location Reston, VA
Contributing office(s) Columbia Environmental Research Center
Description v, 46 p.
Online Only (Y/N) N
Additional Online Files (Y/N) N
Google Analytic Metrics Metrics page
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