To examine seasonal variation in levels of radiocesium (137Cs) within largemouth bass (Micropterus salmoides; N = 589), fish were collected monthly over a one-year period from an abandoned reactor cooling reservoir. Month of collection, sex, age, and body mass (log transformed) were all significant factors influencing 137Cs concentrations. Levels of 137Cs reached a peak in late winter/early spring (February/March), and minimum values occurred in the fall (October). An asymmetric sawtooth model with a four- month period of increase and an eight-month period of decrease fit the data for monthly 137Cs values significantly better than symmetric sinusoidal and sawtooth models. The mean concentration of 137Cs for bass collected during all months was 7.09 Bq/g wet mass. All individuals examined, regardless of month, sex, age, or body mass, had 137Cs levels (2.95-12.60 Bq/g) that were much higher than the maximum level (0.60 Bq/g wet mass) generally considered safe for human consumption. Radiocesium is relatively long-lived within this reservoir and will continue to remain an important issue in risk assessments for both humans and wildlife species.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Environmental Chemistry
- Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis