Page Banner

United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Pesticides and Pcb Contaminants in Fish and Frogs from the Kaweah River Basin, California

Authors
item Datta, Seema - UNIV. CA, DAVIS
item Hansen, Lara - UNIV CA, DAVIS
item McConnell, Laura
item Baker, Joel - UNIV. MD
item Lenoir, James - UNIV. NE, RENO
item Seiber, James - UNIV. NE, RENO

Submitted to: Environmental Contamination and Toxicology Bulletin
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: April 15, 1998
Publication Date: N/A

Interpretive Summary: The potentially harmful impacts of increasing air pollution to wildlife and plants in the Sierra Nevada mountain range of California and Nevada represent a growing concern. Pollution resulting from urban development, agricultural operations and industrial activity in the Central Valley and coastal metropolitan centers of California may be transported eastward to the mountain range. There is accumulating evidence of transport and deposition of airborne pollutants including ozone, particulate matter, nitrogen oxides, nitrogen and phosphorus, and pesticides to the Sierras. The objective of this study was to examine for PCBs and pesticides in water, fish and frogs in the Kaweah River basin in the southern Sierra Nevada mountains and to compare the concentrations of these contaminants between these southern Sierran samples with those from similar sample types from other locations in California. Aquatic organisms which inhabit the Sierras such as fish and frogs appear to be recipients of airborne pollutants which originate in the intensively farmed valleys of California and the coastal urbanized areas.

Technical Abstract: Pollution resulting from urban development, agricultural operations and industrial activity in the Central Valley and coastal metropolitan centers of California may be transported through atmospheric processes eastward to the Sierra Nevada mountain range. The objective of this study was to examine for PCBs and pesticides in water, fish and frogs in the Kaweah River basin in the southern Sierra Nevada mountains and to compare the concentrations of these contaminants between these southern Sierran samples with those from similar sample types from other locations in California. PCB concentrations in water samples from the Kaweah River, 0.41 ng/L are similar to that found in Lake Tahoe in the northern Sierra Nevada mountains (0.36-0.67 ng/L). PCB concentrations in fish from the two areas are also similar. DDE levels in Kaweah River trout were higher than for PCBs (40-66 ng/g) by a factor of ten. Low levels of chlropyrifos and chlorothalonil were also observed in tadpoles from Kaweah River (10-40 pg/g). Aquatic organisms which inhabit the Sierras such as fish and frogs appear to be recipients of airborne pollutants which originate in the intensively farmed valleys of California and the coastal urbanized areas.

Last Modified: 7/24/2014
Footer Content Back to Top of Page