Chemical contaminants, health indicators, and reproductive biomarker responses in fish from the Colorado River and its tributaries

Jo Ellen Hinck, Vicki Suzette Blazer, Nancy D. Denslow, Kathy R. Echols, Timothy S. Gross, Tom W. May, Patrick J. Anderson, James J. Coyle, Donald E. Tillitt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

62 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Common carp (Cyprinus carpio), black bass (Micropterus spp.), and channel catfish (Ictalurus punctatus) were collected from 14 sites in the Colorado River Basin (CRB) to document spatial trends in accumulative contaminants, health indicators, and reproductive biomarkers. Organochlorine residues, 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin-like activity (TCDD-EQ), and elemental contaminants were measured in composite samples of whole fish, grouped by species and gender, from each site. Selenium (Se) and mercury (Hg) concentrations in fish were elevated throughout the CRB, and pesticide concentrations were greatest in fish from agricultural areas in the Lower Colorado River and Gila River. Selenium concentrations exceeded toxicity thresholds for fish (> 1.0 μg/g ww) at all CRB sites except the Gila River at Hayden, Arizona. Mercury concentrations were elevated (> 0.1 μg/g ww) in fish from the Yampa River at Lay, Colorado; the Green River at Ouray National Wildlife Refuge (NWR), Utah and San Rafael, Utah; the San Juan River at Hogback Diversion, New Mexico; and the Colorado River at Gold Bar Canyon, Utah, Needles, California, and Imperial Dam, Arizona. Concentrations of p,p′-DDE were relatively high in fish from the Gila River at Arlington, Arizona (> 1.0 μg/g ww) and Phoenix, Arizona (> 0.5 μg/g ww). Concentrations of other formerly used pesticides including toxaphene, total chlordanes, and dieldrin were also greatest at these two sites but did not exceed toxicity thresholds. Currently used pesticides such as Dacthal, endosulfan, γ-HCH, and methoxychlor were also greatest in fish from the Gila River downstream of Phoenix. Total polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs; > 0.11 μg/g ww) and TCDD-EQs (> 5 pg/g ww) exceeded wildlife guidelines in fish from the Gila River at Phoenix. Hepatic ethoxyresorufin O-deethylase (EROD) activity was also relatively high in carp from the Gila River at Phoenix and in bass from the Green River at Ouray NWR. Fish from some sites showed evidence of contaminant exposure as indicated by fish health indicators and reproductive biomarker results. Multiple health indicators including altered body and organ weights and high health assessment index scores may be associated with elevated Se concentrations in fish from the Colorado River at Loma, Colorado and Needles. Although grossly visible external or internal lesions were found on most fish from some sites, histopathological analysis determined many of these to be inflammatory responses associated with parasites. Edema, exophthalmos, and cataracts were noted in fish from sites with elevated Se concentrations. Intersex fish were found at seven of 14 sites and included smallmouth bass (M. dolomieu), largemouth bass (M. salmoides), catfish, and carp and may indicate exposure to endocrine disrupting compounds. A high proportion of smallmouth bass from the Yampa River at Lay (70%) was intersex but the cause of this condition is unknown. Male carp, bass, and catfish with low concentrations of vitellogenin were common in the CRB. Comparatively high vitellogenin concentrations (> 0.2 mg/mL) were measured in male bass from the Green River at Ouray NWR and the Colorado River at Imperial Dam and indicate exposure to estrogenic or anti-androgenic chemicals. Anomalous reproductive biomarkers including low GSI and gonadal abnormalities (calcifications, edema, and parasites) observed in fish downstream of Phoenix are likely related to the poor water-quality of the Gila River in this area.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)376-402
Number of pages27
JournalScience of the Total Environment
Volume378
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1 2007

Fingerprint

Biomarkers
Fish
biomarker
tributary
Rivers
Health
Impurities
pollutant
fish
river
selenium
Selenium
river basin
Catchments
refuge
intersex
Pesticides
indicator
health
chemical

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Pollution

Cite this

Hinck, Jo Ellen ; Blazer, Vicki Suzette ; Denslow, Nancy D. ; Echols, Kathy R. ; Gross, Timothy S. ; May, Tom W. ; Anderson, Patrick J. ; Coyle, James J. ; Tillitt, Donald E. / Chemical contaminants, health indicators, and reproductive biomarker responses in fish from the Colorado River and its tributaries. In: Science of the Total Environment. 2007 ; Vol. 378, No. 3. pp. 376-402.
@article{e73c6fc86a6543ad833ea8489c19a90a,
title = "Chemical contaminants, health indicators, and reproductive biomarker responses in fish from the Colorado River and its tributaries",
abstract = "Common carp (Cyprinus carpio), black bass (Micropterus spp.), and channel catfish (Ictalurus punctatus) were collected from 14 sites in the Colorado River Basin (CRB) to document spatial trends in accumulative contaminants, health indicators, and reproductive biomarkers. Organochlorine residues, 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin-like activity (TCDD-EQ), and elemental contaminants were measured in composite samples of whole fish, grouped by species and gender, from each site. Selenium (Se) and mercury (Hg) concentrations in fish were elevated throughout the CRB, and pesticide concentrations were greatest in fish from agricultural areas in the Lower Colorado River and Gila River. Selenium concentrations exceeded toxicity thresholds for fish (> 1.0 μg/g ww) at all CRB sites except the Gila River at Hayden, Arizona. Mercury concentrations were elevated (> 0.1 μg/g ww) in fish from the Yampa River at Lay, Colorado; the Green River at Ouray National Wildlife Refuge (NWR), Utah and San Rafael, Utah; the San Juan River at Hogback Diversion, New Mexico; and the Colorado River at Gold Bar Canyon, Utah, Needles, California, and Imperial Dam, Arizona. Concentrations of p,p′-DDE were relatively high in fish from the Gila River at Arlington, Arizona (> 1.0 μg/g ww) and Phoenix, Arizona (> 0.5 μg/g ww). Concentrations of other formerly used pesticides including toxaphene, total chlordanes, and dieldrin were also greatest at these two sites but did not exceed toxicity thresholds. Currently used pesticides such as Dacthal, endosulfan, γ-HCH, and methoxychlor were also greatest in fish from the Gila River downstream of Phoenix. Total polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs; > 0.11 μg/g ww) and TCDD-EQs (> 5 pg/g ww) exceeded wildlife guidelines in fish from the Gila River at Phoenix. Hepatic ethoxyresorufin O-deethylase (EROD) activity was also relatively high in carp from the Gila River at Phoenix and in bass from the Green River at Ouray NWR. Fish from some sites showed evidence of contaminant exposure as indicated by fish health indicators and reproductive biomarker results. Multiple health indicators including altered body and organ weights and high health assessment index scores may be associated with elevated Se concentrations in fish from the Colorado River at Loma, Colorado and Needles. Although grossly visible external or internal lesions were found on most fish from some sites, histopathological analysis determined many of these to be inflammatory responses associated with parasites. Edema, exophthalmos, and cataracts were noted in fish from sites with elevated Se concentrations. Intersex fish were found at seven of 14 sites and included smallmouth bass (M. dolomieu), largemouth bass (M. salmoides), catfish, and carp and may indicate exposure to endocrine disrupting compounds. A high proportion of smallmouth bass from the Yampa River at Lay (70{\%}) was intersex but the cause of this condition is unknown. Male carp, bass, and catfish with low concentrations of vitellogenin were common in the CRB. Comparatively high vitellogenin concentrations (> 0.2 mg/mL) were measured in male bass from the Green River at Ouray NWR and the Colorado River at Imperial Dam and indicate exposure to estrogenic or anti-androgenic chemicals. Anomalous reproductive biomarkers including low GSI and gonadal abnormalities (calcifications, edema, and parasites) observed in fish downstream of Phoenix are likely related to the poor water-quality of the Gila River in this area.",
author = "Hinck, {Jo Ellen} and Blazer, {Vicki Suzette} and Denslow, {Nancy D.} and Echols, {Kathy R.} and Gross, {Timothy S.} and May, {Tom W.} and Anderson, {Patrick J.} and Coyle, {James J.} and Tillitt, {Donald E.}",
year = "2007",
month = "6",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1016/j.scitotenv.2007.02.032",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "378",
pages = "376--402",
journal = "Science of the Total Environment",
issn = "0048-9697",
publisher = "Elsevier",
number = "3",

}

Hinck, JE, Blazer, VS, Denslow, ND, Echols, KR, Gross, TS, May, TW, Anderson, PJ, Coyle, JJ & Tillitt, DE 2007, 'Chemical contaminants, health indicators, and reproductive biomarker responses in fish from the Colorado River and its tributaries', Science of the Total Environment, vol. 378, no. 3, pp. 376-402. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2007.02.032

Chemical contaminants, health indicators, and reproductive biomarker responses in fish from the Colorado River and its tributaries. / Hinck, Jo Ellen; Blazer, Vicki Suzette; Denslow, Nancy D.; Echols, Kathy R.; Gross, Timothy S.; May, Tom W.; Anderson, Patrick J.; Coyle, James J.; Tillitt, Donald E.

In: Science of the Total Environment, Vol. 378, No. 3, 01.06.2007, p. 376-402.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

TY - JOUR

T1 - Chemical contaminants, health indicators, and reproductive biomarker responses in fish from the Colorado River and its tributaries

AU - Hinck, Jo Ellen

AU - Blazer, Vicki Suzette

AU - Denslow, Nancy D.

AU - Echols, Kathy R.

AU - Gross, Timothy S.

AU - May, Tom W.

AU - Anderson, Patrick J.

AU - Coyle, James J.

AU - Tillitt, Donald E.

PY - 2007/6/1

Y1 - 2007/6/1

N2 - Common carp (Cyprinus carpio), black bass (Micropterus spp.), and channel catfish (Ictalurus punctatus) were collected from 14 sites in the Colorado River Basin (CRB) to document spatial trends in accumulative contaminants, health indicators, and reproductive biomarkers. Organochlorine residues, 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin-like activity (TCDD-EQ), and elemental contaminants were measured in composite samples of whole fish, grouped by species and gender, from each site. Selenium (Se) and mercury (Hg) concentrations in fish were elevated throughout the CRB, and pesticide concentrations were greatest in fish from agricultural areas in the Lower Colorado River and Gila River. Selenium concentrations exceeded toxicity thresholds for fish (> 1.0 μg/g ww) at all CRB sites except the Gila River at Hayden, Arizona. Mercury concentrations were elevated (> 0.1 μg/g ww) in fish from the Yampa River at Lay, Colorado; the Green River at Ouray National Wildlife Refuge (NWR), Utah and San Rafael, Utah; the San Juan River at Hogback Diversion, New Mexico; and the Colorado River at Gold Bar Canyon, Utah, Needles, California, and Imperial Dam, Arizona. Concentrations of p,p′-DDE were relatively high in fish from the Gila River at Arlington, Arizona (> 1.0 μg/g ww) and Phoenix, Arizona (> 0.5 μg/g ww). Concentrations of other formerly used pesticides including toxaphene, total chlordanes, and dieldrin were also greatest at these two sites but did not exceed toxicity thresholds. Currently used pesticides such as Dacthal, endosulfan, γ-HCH, and methoxychlor were also greatest in fish from the Gila River downstream of Phoenix. Total polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs; > 0.11 μg/g ww) and TCDD-EQs (> 5 pg/g ww) exceeded wildlife guidelines in fish from the Gila River at Phoenix. Hepatic ethoxyresorufin O-deethylase (EROD) activity was also relatively high in carp from the Gila River at Phoenix and in bass from the Green River at Ouray NWR. Fish from some sites showed evidence of contaminant exposure as indicated by fish health indicators and reproductive biomarker results. Multiple health indicators including altered body and organ weights and high health assessment index scores may be associated with elevated Se concentrations in fish from the Colorado River at Loma, Colorado and Needles. Although grossly visible external or internal lesions were found on most fish from some sites, histopathological analysis determined many of these to be inflammatory responses associated with parasites. Edema, exophthalmos, and cataracts were noted in fish from sites with elevated Se concentrations. Intersex fish were found at seven of 14 sites and included smallmouth bass (M. dolomieu), largemouth bass (M. salmoides), catfish, and carp and may indicate exposure to endocrine disrupting compounds. A high proportion of smallmouth bass from the Yampa River at Lay (70%) was intersex but the cause of this condition is unknown. Male carp, bass, and catfish with low concentrations of vitellogenin were common in the CRB. Comparatively high vitellogenin concentrations (> 0.2 mg/mL) were measured in male bass from the Green River at Ouray NWR and the Colorado River at Imperial Dam and indicate exposure to estrogenic or anti-androgenic chemicals. Anomalous reproductive biomarkers including low GSI and gonadal abnormalities (calcifications, edema, and parasites) observed in fish downstream of Phoenix are likely related to the poor water-quality of the Gila River in this area.

AB - Common carp (Cyprinus carpio), black bass (Micropterus spp.), and channel catfish (Ictalurus punctatus) were collected from 14 sites in the Colorado River Basin (CRB) to document spatial trends in accumulative contaminants, health indicators, and reproductive biomarkers. Organochlorine residues, 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin-like activity (TCDD-EQ), and elemental contaminants were measured in composite samples of whole fish, grouped by species and gender, from each site. Selenium (Se) and mercury (Hg) concentrations in fish were elevated throughout the CRB, and pesticide concentrations were greatest in fish from agricultural areas in the Lower Colorado River and Gila River. Selenium concentrations exceeded toxicity thresholds for fish (> 1.0 μg/g ww) at all CRB sites except the Gila River at Hayden, Arizona. Mercury concentrations were elevated (> 0.1 μg/g ww) in fish from the Yampa River at Lay, Colorado; the Green River at Ouray National Wildlife Refuge (NWR), Utah and San Rafael, Utah; the San Juan River at Hogback Diversion, New Mexico; and the Colorado River at Gold Bar Canyon, Utah, Needles, California, and Imperial Dam, Arizona. Concentrations of p,p′-DDE were relatively high in fish from the Gila River at Arlington, Arizona (> 1.0 μg/g ww) and Phoenix, Arizona (> 0.5 μg/g ww). Concentrations of other formerly used pesticides including toxaphene, total chlordanes, and dieldrin were also greatest at these two sites but did not exceed toxicity thresholds. Currently used pesticides such as Dacthal, endosulfan, γ-HCH, and methoxychlor were also greatest in fish from the Gila River downstream of Phoenix. Total polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs; > 0.11 μg/g ww) and TCDD-EQs (> 5 pg/g ww) exceeded wildlife guidelines in fish from the Gila River at Phoenix. Hepatic ethoxyresorufin O-deethylase (EROD) activity was also relatively high in carp from the Gila River at Phoenix and in bass from the Green River at Ouray NWR. Fish from some sites showed evidence of contaminant exposure as indicated by fish health indicators and reproductive biomarker results. Multiple health indicators including altered body and organ weights and high health assessment index scores may be associated with elevated Se concentrations in fish from the Colorado River at Loma, Colorado and Needles. Although grossly visible external or internal lesions were found on most fish from some sites, histopathological analysis determined many of these to be inflammatory responses associated with parasites. Edema, exophthalmos, and cataracts were noted in fish from sites with elevated Se concentrations. Intersex fish were found at seven of 14 sites and included smallmouth bass (M. dolomieu), largemouth bass (M. salmoides), catfish, and carp and may indicate exposure to endocrine disrupting compounds. A high proportion of smallmouth bass from the Yampa River at Lay (70%) was intersex but the cause of this condition is unknown. Male carp, bass, and catfish with low concentrations of vitellogenin were common in the CRB. Comparatively high vitellogenin concentrations (> 0.2 mg/mL) were measured in male bass from the Green River at Ouray NWR and the Colorado River at Imperial Dam and indicate exposure to estrogenic or anti-androgenic chemicals. Anomalous reproductive biomarkers including low GSI and gonadal abnormalities (calcifications, edema, and parasites) observed in fish downstream of Phoenix are likely related to the poor water-quality of the Gila River in this area.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=34247545330&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=34247545330&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2007.02.032

DO - 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2007.02.032

M3 - Article

C2 - 17418376

AN - SCOPUS:34247545330

VL - 378

SP - 376

EP - 402

JO - Science of the Total Environment

JF - Science of the Total Environment

SN - 0048-9697

IS - 3

ER -